So what Pahlaj Nihalani, if there's lipstick under the burkha

The censor board needs to be replaced with an industry body which can take a nuanced approach to film certification

rahul

Rahul Dass | February 27, 2017 | New Delhi


#Central Board of Film Certification   #Lipstick Under My Burkha   #CBFC   #Pahlaj Nihalani   #Censor Board  


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.”

 

Comments

 

Other News

COVID-19 demobilisation: Lessons for public governance

Demobilization, like its predecessor – demonetization, is another decision gone bad in implementation.  In both instances a careful public administrative action through its governance systems could have saved the magnitude of impact particularly on the most vulnerable sections of the society. Th

Don’t fear Corona, fight it

In a bid to break the “chain of transmission” of the deadly Covid-19, India, a country with more than 1.3 billion population, observed a voluntary ‘Janata Curfew’ on March 22. This has been followed by a 21-day, nationwide lockdown from March 24. Prime minister Narendra Modi also re

Sci-Tech Empowered Committee set up for COVID-19

To take speedy decisions on research and development for Sars-Cov-2 virus and COVID-19, the government has constituted a Science and Technology Empowered Committee. The committee, set up on March 29 and chaired by Niti Aayog member, professor Vinod Paul and professor K Vijay Raghavan, princi

Covid-19 and real estate: This could be last straw that broke camel’s back

Covid-19 may turn out to be the last straw that broke the camel’s back so far as the real estate sector is concerned. It broke out at a time when pundits were estimating the GDP to be hovering around 2.5% with unprecedent levels of unemployment. This itself was a good indicator that the real estate s

India ramps efforts as COVID-19 cases rise

As COVID -19 cases continue to rise amid a 21-day lockdown, the centre and the states are proactively taking measures to provide aid to the underprivileged and the needy during this unprecedented situation.         By Sunday morning, India had registered 27

Diplomacy in the time of Covid-19

In the thick of battle with the deadly coronavirus, India on March announced a 21-day lockdown till April 14 in its bid to control the spread of virus which has so far led to 10 people’s death and over 600 others falling sick across the country. As per experts, India, which is in the second stage of



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter