False claim that Mohd Rafi’s song on Kashmir ‘Jannat ki hai Tasveer’ was banned in 1966

A Mohammed Rafi song is viral on social media with the claim that the song, which was a part of a movie, was censored from the film fifty years ago. “पचास साल पहले इस गाने को सेंसर ने कटवा दिया था लेकिन क्यों? सुने मोहम्मद रफी की आवाज में यह गीत जो कभी रिलीज नहीं हो पाया सुन कर बताइये! क्या कारण रहे होंगे (Fifty years ago, why was this song censored and cut? Listen in Mohammed Rafi’s voice the song that wasn’t released. What must have been the reason?),” reads the accompanying caption.

पचास साल पहले इस गाने को सेंसर ने कटवा दिया था ! लेकिन क्यों?
सुने मोहम्मद रफी की आवाज में यह गीत जो कभी रिलीज नहीं हो पाया

सुन कर बताइये ! क्या कारण रहे होंगे

Posted by Syed Iftekhar Hussain Hussain on Friday, 1 March 2019

Some Twitter users have also shared the song with the identical caption.

The claim that the song was censored from the movie is viral on social media.

Another caption shared with the song suggests that it was banned in India by the then Congress government. “KASHMIR HAI BHARAT KA this song was opposed by Pakistan & Radio Ceylon was told not to play this song. Our Congress govt. also quietly banned this song. Hats off to the person who now brought this song to YouTube,” reads the caption.

Fact-check

The song viral on social media is ‘Jannat ki hai Tasveer’ and was part of the movie ‘Johar in Kashmir’ released in 1966. The film was set in Kashmir, circa late 1940s, after India was partitioned.

Alt News found a Gazette of India document from 1966, which included official orders by the Central Board of Film Censor, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. As seen in the screenshot below, only the underlined words ‘Haji Pir’ were asked to be deleted from the song. Some of the lines mentioned in the official cannot be found in the lyrics of the song available online, hinting that the lyrics were modified after the censor board order.

Alt News contacted Mohammed Rafi’ son, Shahid Rafi, for further insights. “That the song was censored is completely false. It was neither banned nor censored.” Shahid Rafi informed Alt News. “How could the song be a part of ‘Johar in Kashmir’ if it was banned?” he added.

The claims on social media are, therefore, baseless. Since the Pulwama attack and the ensuing tensions between India and Pakistan, misinformation has been circulated in large numbers on both sides of the border. Social media users are advised to practice self-verification and not fall for unsourced, unauthentic information.

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