As of today, August 2, 2023, the Indian movie Adipurush has been banned in three cities in Nepal: Kathmandu, Dharan and Pokhara. Mayor of Kathmandu, Balendra Shah, was first to impose the ban, after receiving petitions from some Nepalis concening the film.
A dialogue in the film that seeks to suggest that Sita is India’s daughter, was what caused the outcry.
The angry petitioners claimed further that the film’s portrayal of Ravana, a king of Lanka, is disrespectful to their culture. Ravana is believed to have been born in Janakpur, a city in Nepal. Many Nepalis also consider him a national hero.
The ban on mythological action film has been met with mixed reactions. Some people have supported the ban, saying that it is necessary to protect Nepali culture and identity. Others too have criticized the ban, saying that it is an infringement on freedom of expression.
The film’s producers have said that they are disappointed by the decision to place a ban on the film. They however, respect the decision of the authorities, they claimed. The director have also said that they are willing to make changes to the film’s dialogue if that would help to resolve the issue.
Meanwhile, a Patan High Court judge, Dhir Bahadur Chand, issued a short term order, stating that nobody should stop the screening of films that have acquired permission from the censor board.
Despite the court directive, Mayors of the three cities where Adipurush is banned, are unwilling to lift the ban. Therefore, it is unclear whether they will lift it in the future.