UP, Punjab and Haryana lift ban on 'Aaja Nachle'

The Uttar Pradesh government Saturday decided to lift the ban it had imposed on "Aaja Nachle" following an apology tendered by filmmaker Yash Chopra who has also decided to remove the objectionable portions of the title song's lyrics.

The Uttar Pradesh government had Friday banned the screening of the film in the state following objections raised by Dalit leaders who had alleged that the title song had derogatory insinuations against the community.

On Saturday, the Punjab government also decided to ban the film, one day after its release.
The Haryana and Punjab governments Sunday allowed the screening of Madhuri Dixit's comeback film "Aaja Nachle", but asked officials to ensure that the offending portion of its title song with alleged derogatory references to a community was deleted.

The screening of the film was banned in both states Saturday following a similar ban by Uttar Pradesh a day before. The ban was imposed citing maintenance of law and order as a reason.

The Punjab and Haryana governments directed all district magistrates to ensure that the objectionable portion of the song was deleted before the film's screening in theaters across the states.

A Punjab government spokesperson said Sunday that the film's producer, Yash Chopra, and distributors had submitted affidavits saying that the objectionable part would be deleted.

A Haryana government spokesman said that screening will be allowed only if all the objectionable parts were deleted.

However, despite the ban Saturday, most theaters in Punjab had continued screening the film with cinema hall owners and distributors deleting the portions on their own. In a couple of theaters, the song itself was not shown, much to the disappointment of many.

While the Uttar Pradesh government had withdrawn the ban Saturday following assurances by the producer, the central government had ruled out any nationwide ban on the film that was released Friday.

The objectionable portion of the title song went: "Bazar mein machi hai maramar; bole mochi bhi khud ko sunar" (There is so much chaos in the market that even a cobbler is calling himself a jeweller).