Bangladesh reimposes ban on Indian film screening | world | Hindustan Times
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Bangladesh reimposes ban on Indian film screening

Though pirated Bollywood DVDs thrive on black market sales, Bangladesh has abandoned an attempt to lift a ban on screening of Indian films in cinemas following protests by local industry.

world Updated: Apr 27, 2010 16:20 IST

Though pirated Bollywood DVDs thrive on black market sales, Bangladesh has abandoned an attempt to lift a ban on screening of Indian films in cinemas following protests by local industry.

The authorities reimposed the ban, just three days after lifting the almost four-decade freeze on Bollywood movies.

The decision came following directions from the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, according to a report published in The Daily Star.

The paper claimed that Hasina expressed dissatisfaction over the commerce ministry's unilateral decision to lift the ban.

The ban had been lifted as cinema in Bangladesh was witnessing an unprecedented slide with the number of movie halls shrinking from about 1,900 in 2000 to mere 600 in 2010, most of them dishing out low budget local films and some B-grade Hollywood movies.

But the decision by the Commerce Ministry drew a protest by local actors, directors and musicians who claimed that Bollywood will swamp their fledgling home grown industry.

The u-turn by the Commerce Ministry came after the protest, with an announcement that "the Ministry can't take such a nationally important decision unilaterally. Only the cabinet can decide this."

Hasina, the paper said, was told that if the ban is withdrawn, the local film industry might face a disaster.

"So, the decision of allowing import and display of South Asian films has to be cancelled," Hasina was quoted by a cabinet member as saying.

Another minister noted that the Commerce Ministry decision might add fuel to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led opposition camp's possible anti-government and anti-Indian campaign.