Jawan Fever: Is It Time to Release Indian Films in Pakistani Cinemas?

Indian films in Pakistan

In recent times, there has been a resurgence of interest and debate among cinephiles and fans of Bollywood, regarding the possibility of Indian film screenings in Pakistani cinemas. This debate resurfaced after the release of Bollywood superstar, Shah Rukh Khan’s action film Jawan in cinemas.

SRK fans inevitably feel left out after being deprived of having the chance to watch the film on the big screen.Previously, Bollywood fans felt the same way when Karan Johar’s film Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, starring Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh, was released in July.

The release of Indian films in Pakistani cinemas is subject to varied opinions and arguments both for and against. In this article we delve into the reasons whether to or not to screen Indian films in Pakistan.

Going back in time: Initiation of ban of films on both sides of the border

The ban of Indian films in Pakistani cinemas and vice versa was initiated by both India and Pakistan in 2016 due to the rising tensions and conflicts between the two countries, particularly in the aftermath of the Uri attack in India. The ban on Indian films was part of a larger effort to restrict cultural exchanges between India and Pakistan at that time.

Case for releasing Indian films in Pakistan:

Diverse entertainment:

The proponents of Indian movie screenings also highlight the extensive variety that Indian cinema offers. From comedy to romance, action to intense drama, Indian films cater to a diverseaudience. This diversity in content could potentially enhance the overall cinematic experience for viewers, appealing to a broader demographic and further enriching the cultural tapestry of Pakistan’s entertainment landscape.

In addition, this can also lead to healthy competition with the local industry, who, in order to compete, will strive to produce content that is above-par and appeals to the audience. Thus, improving the quality of content produced in the local film industry.

Cultural harmony and exchange:

Advocates for the screening of Indian films argue that it has the potential to foster valuable cultural exchange and build strongerconnections between the countries. They highlightthat films, as a medium, possess the unique ability to transcend political borders and unite audiences through shared stories and experiences. By permitting the release of Indian movies in Pakistani cinemas, it is likely that the cultural differences can be bridged which can be a step toward greater mutual understanding and harmony between the two nations.

In addition, the release of Indian films can also be a step towards collaboration of artists from India and Pakistan, which can result in improved quality of work.

Economic boost:

Another compelling argument in favor of screening Indian films in Pakistan lies in the economic benefit that Pakistanis can gain. The substantial economic benefit lies in the potential to generate revenue not only for local cinema owners but also for distributors. Government can also benefit through taxation.

Given the popularity of Indian cinema in Pakistan, there is an obvious demand for Bollywood films. The economic benefit lies in the basic economic concept of demand and supply. The screening of Indian films will not only create income for the cinema owners but will also provide the much-needed support to the local film industry, by bringing back the culture of watching films on the big screen.

Advocating against screening of Indian films:

Local culture at stake:

Indian films are inevitably flag bearers and representation of their own culture. Their national identity and culture are highlighted in their films. Critics argue that permitting Indian movies into Pakistani cinemas may erode the distinct cultural identity of Pakistani cinema and overshadow the local industry.

They also believe that the audience might gravitate towards Indian films and adopt their local culture, thus diluting the national identity in the process.

Furthermore, due to tense political situation on both sides, Indian films often have a patriotic element, which again can be considered a threat to national identity.

Political sensitivities:

Another argument against the release of Indian films in Pakistan is that allowing the release of Indian films might inadvertently lead to political controversies and diplomatic tensions.Opponents of screening Indian movies in Pakistan point to the complex political history between the two countries. They contend that allowing Indian films might inadvertently trigger political controversies and diplomatic tensions.

Local film industry protection:

There’s a concern that due to the high budget of Indian films and their expertise and the advanced technology employed in making films, couldovershadow and undermine the growth of Pakistan’s own film industry, which has been making steady progress in recent years.

Critics argue that prioritizing the preservation and growth of the domestic film industry should be the foremost concern. They believe that by investing in and promoting local cinema, in the long run, Pakistan can ultimately generate substantial revenue and gain international recognition.

While the dialogue continues and the number of arguments shaping this debate increases, we have not been able to reach a conclusion yet. Which side of the argument do you stand on? Do you believe that Pakistani cinemas should open their doors to Indian movies, or do you think it’s essential to protect and promote local cinema? Share your insights with us in the comments


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