Malaysia bans controversial Bollywood film 'Padmaavat'

Kuala Lumpur
 The Malaysian government banned the controversial Bollywood film 'Padmaavat' in his country. The film, starring the famous actress Bollywood, Deepika Padukone, is considered to give a negative picture of a Muslim sultan.

As reported by Reuters Friday (2/2/2018), the Malaysian government rejected the depiction of the character of Sultan Alauddin Khilji in the film. The film itself tells the figure of Padmavati who is the figure of Hindu Queen of the 14th century and the Muslim Sultan who invaded Hindustan.

"He (Sultan Alauddin Khilji-red) is described as an arrogant, cruel, inhuman, sly Sultan with many trickery, unreliable, and non-practicing Islam, "the Malaysian Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs asserts, the Film Censorship Board has decided the film is 'not approved for airing' in all cinemas in Malaysia. An appeal from the film's distributor has been rejected by the Malaysian Film Censorship Board on Tuesday (30/1) this week.

Bollywood films are very popular in Malaysia, which is about 7 percent of India's 32 million people.

The film 'Padmaavat' itself has long reaped controversy and protests in his native India. Controversy even emerged since the film was still in the shooting stage. Radical groups in India who protested the film called the film 'Padmaavat' has mistakenly described intimate scenes between Padmavati and Khilji, the two main characters. Producers have asserted that the film portrays Padmavati's honorable figure.

Despite the controversy, the film 'Padmaavat' is still allowed to air in India. This is because on January 23 last, the Indian Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit of the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh government that requested the film was banned. The Supreme Court emphasized the action of banning films clearly violating the freedom of creativity.

Later in early January, the Indian Film Certification Center Board (CBFC), which regulates censorship and film certification, allowed 'Padmaavat' to air in cinemas beginning January 25. CBFC allows the controversial film to air with a number of cuts in scenes. Not only that, CBFC also requested that the title of the film be changed from 'Padmavati' to 'Padmavat' and 'Padmaavat'.

To protest the decision, hundreds of people staged a massive rally in India, malls and vehicle burning. Despite the protests, India's 'Padmaavat' movie show has reportedly gained a profit of 1.43 billion or equivalent to Rp 299 billion within seven days.

(nvc / ita)

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Hong Kong Democracy activists slam new bans

Supporters of Hong Kong democracy are angry after the government blocked the founders of a 21-year-old political party to advance in the upcoming elections. The activists say this move is the latest attempt to silence the opposition in the Chinese territory.

In a letter to Agnes Chow, a leading figure in the political struggle, a Hong Kong city election official questioned the platform of the party he represented, the Demosisto Party, which contained the words "promoting self-determination and democracy." As a member of the party, the letter said, he clearly did not intend to respect the constitution of Hong Kong

Pro-democracy MPs and legal experts said the disqualification of Agnes Chow was colored by political screening , and not a fair, judicial, and nonjudgmental decision.

About 2,000 people gathered on a cloudy Sunday afternoon in the center of the Hong Kong government to denounce the decision.

"If we do not fight for our rights, they will seize each of our rights, until we have no rights whatsoever," said former lawmaker and lawyer Margaret Ng to protest participants yelling, "We will fight in court, we will fight in Hong Kong, we will fight in the world!"

During the rally, Agnes Chow reminded that members of her party have been physically beaten, fired from their posts, and imprisoned. "If the regime in power does this, the goal is not only me, or the democrats, but all Hong Kong residents. "This disqualification decision tells all Hong Kong citizens, we can only choose people who are accepted by the regime." [ps/jm]