Mahira Khan starrer Verna by Shoaib Mansoor was approved by Sindh and Punjab censor boards, but was banned by the Islamabad Censor Board. Concerned authorities in Islamabad listed a couple of reasons why the body considers it inappropriate for audiences in Pakistan.
The reasons presented to ban the movie are absurd as well as irrational. Movie could not get nod of the authorities because it is touching the issue of ‘rape’ and secondly the accused of rap in the movie is son of the Prime Minister. Rational approach here suggests that there is nothing wrong in both the aspects of movie. Because unfortunately incidents of raps are occurring in the country and it is also hard to deny that wealthy accused often get away using power and money.
If we look at the statistics we will came to know that ‘rape’ is a serious issue in our society and there is dire need to highlight and discuss it. According to reliable surveys, in our country a rape occurs every second hour and a victim is gang raped at least once a week. In such a terrifying scenario, any society must come forward to deal with the crime of a serious nature like this.
Shoaib Mansoor is well known for making objective films which portray social issues in such a delicate manner that effect of his movies lasts for a longer period of time. In this movie ’Verna’ he also picked the topic of ‘rape’ and the struggle of victims to get justice.
Usually in a movie if a scene is considered not suitable for the audience of specific age group, screening certificates carry an age-advisory clause. But banning movies is an extreme step, considering the fact that our film industry is struggling and trying to make a revival.
If we lack in discussing serious issues, it does not mean that we should be discouraging any effort to highlight issues which are considered taboo or controversial. Art is the best way to spread awareness in the matters which are considered controversial in any society. It is unfortunate that we discourage workers who portray evils in the society through art. We must not be burying our heads in sand and should be discussing social issues openly.
We must not be burying our heads in sand and should be discussing social issues openly.