Hindi cinema made a comeback in strife-torn Manipur on Tuesday after more than 20 years.
The Bollywood movie, Uri: The Surgical Strike, starring Vicky Kaushal, about surgical strikes against Pakistan, was screened at a makeshift open-air theater in Churachandpur.
The screening of Uri movie was attended by a large number of people in Rengkai (Lamka).
The Hmar Students Association (HSA) organized the screening to express their opposition to the ban on Hindi movies. This ban was imposed in September 2000 by the 'Revolutionary People's Front' (RPF), a political wing of the proscribed People's Liberation Army, a valley-based Meitei terror group.
"It has been over two decades since a movie was screened in our town. The Meiteis have banned Hindi movies for a long time. Today's move is to defy the anti-national policies of the Meitei groups and to show our love for India," said Ginza Vualzong, spokesperson of the Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum, in a brief statement.
The organization identifies itself as the representative of the Kuki tribes.
The HSA announced on Monday that the screening is a way to demonstrate their resistance and opposition against terrorist groups that have oppressed the tribal communities for many years.
They appealed to others to join them in taking a pledge to continue their fight for freedom and justice.
According to the HSA, the last Hindi film publicly shown in Manipur was Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in 1998.
Officials reported that rebels burned 6,000 to 8,000 video and audio cassettes as well as compact discs in Hindi within a week of the ban in 2000. These items had been collected from outlets in the State.
The reason behind the ban in the State was not disclosed by the RPF.
However, cable operators speculated that the militant group was concerned about the negative impact of Bollywood on the language and culture of the State.
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