The censor board needs to be replaced with an industry body which can take a nuanced approach to film certification
Rahul Dass | February 27, 2017 | New Delhi
The Central Board of Film Certification seems to be fast turning into 16th century Italian theatre Commedia dell'arte, whose special characteristic is the lazzo - a joke. And Pahlaj Nihalani is the prima donna of all that is not right with the censor board.
Nihalani, who is frequently quite upset with the falling morality in films, is now aghast at the movie “Lipstick Under My Burkha”, which has walked away with prizes at Tokyo and Mumbai film festivals.
The CBFC has said: "The story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contanious sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society, hence film refused under guidelines (sic)."
It is with disbelief that one hears Nihalani led CBFC has denied certification to the movie. It is certainly an assault on the freedom of expression.
One wonders who has authorized Nihalani and his ilk to sit on moral judgement on 1.2 billion people and the kind of movie they want to watch. It is another matter altogether that you can watch endless smut through the free internet. We seem to be steadily moving backwards in the way the censor board is functioning and it seems to losing touch with reality.
Nihalani certainly has forgotten the four-minute liplock between Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani in the 1933 film Karma. That’s over eighty years ago and in the new millennia, we have a censor board which has shut its eye to how the society has moved ahead.
This is not the first time that the censor board seems to have lost the plot. Remember the film Udta Panjab. He placed 89 restrictions. After it was challenged, the movie was allowed to be released with just one cut.
I think it is time to completely do away with the censor board and replace it with certification from a film industry body, which understands the finer nuances. There is a difference between how a subject is artistically treated and where it is crude and crass. Bar it when it is in poor taste, but do let go when it is dealt the aplomb.
Instead of people like Nihalani deciding on the moral values, it would do a world of good if sensitive and credible actors, directors, producers as well as technical experts from across the country form a grouping which can see and pass the films without toeing the value system of the party in power.
The cave canem: Film makers too need to be careful while dealing with sensitive subjects that are increasingly becoming taboo in our frigid society. It is good to make artsy movies, but to have a movie title which suspiciously looks it is meant to poke it in your eye is not fair.
The idea is to make the movie work, even by generating a controversy. The more controversial, the more moolah it will pull in. This, unfortunately, does work, but not every time.
An unsolicited advice for Pahlaj Nihalani. More than lipstick under the burkha, he needs to be worried about lipstick on the collar – the first may in fact add to the beauty, but the latter is definitely about adultery.
Wonder whether he would get nightmares if he listens to the Connie Francis 1959 song Lipstick on your collar.
“Lipstick on you collar, told a tale on you
Lipstick on you collar, said you were untrue
Bet your bottom dollar, you and I are through
Cause, lipstick on you collar told a tale on you, yeah.”
From obtaining an electricity connection to a driver`s licence, ration card, or old-age allowance, delivery of government schemes and services is an aspect of governance that impacts citizens at various points throughout their lives. The Haryana state government provides over 600 such schemes and services.
From Dependence to Self-Reliance: Mapping India’s Rise as a Global Superpower By Bimal Jalan Rupa Publications, 184 pages, Rs 695 Bimal Jalan, a former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has been one of our finest commentators on econom
While many countries have been chasing to reach the carbon neutral status, only a few seem to be living up to their pledges as of now. The famous ’Paris Agreement’ of 2015 was glorified and celebrated that finally 196 countries have united with an intent to mitigate and reduce the greenhouse ga
The government this week announced the Tour of Duty or `Agnipath` scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in the armed forces. Under this scheme new soldiers will be recruited only for four years. This radical and far-reaching scheme has attracted mixed reactions from various quarters. While some officials
UPI has become an integral part of our daily lives now. We use it to buy groceries, we use it to send money to friends and family, we use it to purchase tickets, book shows, pay the cab driver, and a whole host of other things due to the ease and availability of such a platform at our fingertips. The best
Scorching Love: Letters from Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to his son, Devadas By Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Tridip Suhrud Oxford University Press, 528 page, Rs 1495 Gandhi’s era happened to be an era when letter-writing was a primary mode of communica