Governance Now Visionary Talks Series

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

TRP-driven model bred irresponsibility: Sudhir Chaudhary

News profession is organic in nature, requires responsibility and discipline, and there is no room for mistake. To maintain high standards of accuracy you need discipline and hygiene in the newsroom. Sudhir Chaudhary, editor in chief of Zee News, Zee Business and Wion, has said that a TRP-driven business m

This Mumbai NGO empowers children with skills

When Dharmendra Pandey, a fruit-seller had to leave Mumbai after the imposition of the lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, and return to his village in Uttar Pradesh, he was staring at economic uncertainties ahead. Little did he know that his 16-year-old son, Mahavir, had acquired skills that would come

Masks: Awareness: near-total, compliance: half-way

Wearing a face mask is the first line of defence against the novel coronavirus, along with maintaining social distance and frequently washing hands with soap. More than six months after the outbreak of Covid-19, nearly 90 percent of people in India have become aware of the necessity of wearing a face mask,

Covid-19: Daily recoveries cross 1 lakh mark, new cases far fewer

Is India finally gaining an upper hand over the Covid-19 pandemic? After weeks of new cases hitting 90,000-plus every day, the tide seems to be turning, as the number came down to 75,083 on Tuesday, and the recoveries were not only higher than that but crossed the 1 lakh mark too. The countr

A travelogue of an inner pilgrimage

Sit Your Self Down A Novice’s Journey into the Heart of Vipassana By Gayatri Jayaraman Hachette India, 212 pages, Rs 399   As stress and strife increase in daily life, more and more people are turning to meditation as an all

Vote in the time of Covid: EC hosts global webinar

On completion of one year of the chairmanship of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB), the Election Commission (EC) of India on Monday hosted an international webinar on the theme of “Issues, Challenges and Protocols for Conducting  Elections during COVID-19 : Sharing Country



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter