Indo-China relations are very sensitive, and in an interesting twist, have now affected a Bollywood film. The Censor Board has asked the makers of Azaan to ‘mute out’ dialogue, which mentions China as being part of a conspiracy theory against India.
"We have been asked to mute, and not beep out, a few lines. So, you will see people talking, but you won’t hear anything. Our tagline is, ‘A country, a conspiracy, a common man.’ But now, there won’t be any conspiracy angle for the audiences,” grumbles director Prashant Chadha.
The story goes like this: In the movie, actors are talking about a conspiracy against India. One asks, ‘Hindustan ki barbaadi se sabse zyaada faayda kise hoga?’ (Who will benefit the most from India’s downfall) Another actor responds, “China.
“The general feeling is that everyone is aware of Pakistan’s involvement (in terrorism) but no one has, till date, blamed China for it. But everyone knows of Chinese incursions and their aggressive stance against India. If you put Middle East, Syria or Pakistan, it’s fine, but China shouldn’t be mentioned,” Chadha points out.
Interestingly, the censors had cleared Azaan’s TV promo, which had the same line blaming China. “So, what’s fit for TV is not fine for movies. I told them that Azaan is just a work of fiction. But they didn’t agree,” says Chadha, adding the film has got an ‘Adults only’ certificate.
“And the reason given to us is that it’s too violent, though it’s not. When audiences watch it, they will realise it too,” he says.
The filmmakers want to take their case to the courts, “but the review process will take time.” Chadha says: “It’s up to the producers to decide. But our posters are already out nd the release date is very near (October 14). Since prints have to be released a week in advance, if we go to the courts, it will surely delay the film. So, for the time being, the film will release with muted lines.”