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Art imitates life, but politics quash both in India and Pakistan.

Luisa Vieira

Art imitates life, but politics quash both in India and Pakistan

As the hit 2022 film “The Legend of Maula Jatt”, the best-performing movie in Pakistan’s history, was set to be released in one of the world’s largest movie-watching markets last weekend, it was abruptly canceled. No official reason was given by India’s film authorities, but right-wing Indian politicians took credit for the change of plan.

Pakistani films have not been screened by India’s lucrative film market since 2011. Though there’s no official ban, New Delhi adheres to an unofficial prohibition aimed at reducing the presence of Pakistani art on Indian screens. This has been expanded under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist rule to also exclude Pakistani actors from performing in India’s Bollywood.

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