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Ban sought on ‘Donkey Raja’ song in new movie

‘Donkey Raja’ song is humiliating to members of the Raja caste, say petitioners

Islamabad: A petition has been filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday, seeking that a “humiliating” song from an Urdu animated movie Donkey King, set for release in Pakistan for October 13, Saturday, be cut out.

The petition says that those belonging to the Raja caste, an offshoot of the Rajputs, are deeply hurt by the movie’s title song ‘Donkey Raja’ — meaning “donkey king”.

According to the petitioners, the three ‘Rajas’ are Raja Muhammad Ali, Raja Azhar Hussain and Rafat Rehman Raja — of Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Chakwal (a district near Rawalpindi).

Geo TV, a co-producer of the animated film, has been repeatedly telecasting the song — nearly after every news transmission — to attract maximum viewers.

The petitioners take the view that equating “Raja” with the donkey is disrespectful and in violation of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that guarantees equal status to members of all castes, creeds and communities.

“Rajputs have rendered great services to the country,” says the petition, adding that “they have served in the Armed Forces of Pakistan, judiciary, civil service, banking and teaching. In short, their representation is in all segments of society.”

The petition submitted before the court said the song has drawn the ire and criticism of all Rajputs in the country, who are demanding its removal from the movie before its release on Saturday.

Citing the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), the Censor Board of Pakistan, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Geo TV, the petitioners have called upon the court to instruct the censor board and Pemra not to air the song on television and cut it out from the movie.

Meanwhile, the movie Donkey King is becoming a craze, especially among youngsters. A big crowd was observed at its special screening held for Minister of Information Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Railways Shaikh Rashid Ahmed and other members of the team.

Talking to media after the screening, Chaudhry said the movie was unique in the sense that it packed all the entertaining ingredients — comedy, drama, action and superb performances — and predicted it would be successful. He said it would encourage other filmmakers to come forth with fresh ideas and animated movies.

The Information Minister praised the film’s songs, graphics and other scenes. “Sixty-four per cent of our population is below of 30 years of age and most of them are under 20. If such movies succeed, it will boost the trend for making movies for children,” Chaudhry added.

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