Pakistan Censor Board chairman asks theatre owners to stay alert following hate messages against 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan'
Salman Khan-starrer 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' might be doing good business across the border, but that has spelt trouble for the chairman of Pakistan Censor Board, Fakhr-e-Alam, who claims to have received serious threats for certifying Indian films. Alam, in a series of tweets, had appreciated the film and conveyed that it was not anti-Pakistan. However, that has not gone down well with haters. Fearing a law and order situation, he has now appealed to theatre owners to beef up security around their property.
A still from 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan'. (inset) Chairman of Pakistan Censor Board, Fakhr-e-Alam
A source says, "A few people are not happy with the Censor Board's decision to allow screening of Bajrangi Bhaijaan in Pakistan as they believe it has anti-Pak overtones. So, they have been targeting Alam on various platforms and branding him a traitor."
Responding to the hate tweets, the Pakistan censor board chief had posted: "Well NOW I am getting LIFE threats....i guess every Pakistani who is buying tickets is also a traitor then (sic)."
A trade source in the neighbouring country says, "Alam is just doing his job and people should understand that. There's nothing in the film that will hurt people's sentiments here. In fact, people have loved that film here. Akshay Kumar's 'Baby' was banned because it had an anti-Pakistan story."
Pakistan-based producer Babar Sheikh calls the threat 'random'. "It is a random threat from a random Twitter handle, but the Censor Board has asked cinema owners to tighten security. Such mischievous elements are present in every country; there is no particular organisation or political party that has taken offence to the screening of Indian films. The Censor Board panel includes people from our Army and they had approved theatrical exhibition of 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' here. Had there been any anti-Pak message in the film, it wouldn't have been certified in the first place," he adds.
Alam remained unavailable for comment.