Shah Rukh Khan
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Just when we thought that the Udta Punjab versus CBFC row was the final leg of the filmmakers’ fight for their freedom of speech and expression, CBFC strikes again as it stalls Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Shweta Tripathi starrer Haraamkhor. In the wake of the Bombay High Court’s decision that the CBFC Board should only certify and not censor, filmmakers liked to believe that they will no more have to face issues with the board. Their triumph obviously was short lived. And while we think CBFC is just being unreasonable, here is a list of six recent films that shows CBFC acts more like a moral police than film certification board:
Shweta Tripati and Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer, Haraamkhor is a story of a 14-year-old girl’s relation with her tuition teacher. According to the CBFC, the content of Haraamkhor is objectionable as the film portrays teachers in a bad light. When asked, Guneet Monga the producer of Haraamkhor said, “They refused to give us a certificate saying that the theme of the film is objectionable. They didn’t ask for any cuts, just refused to pass the film, saying that it puts the teachers in a bad light.” The film is inspired from a true life incident, and there are various other films that are based on student-teacher relationship.
The story revolves around the issues of drug abuse in Punjab, and highlights the state of the youth who have been most affected by it. The film will surely go down history of Indian Hindi cinema, not because of the concept but because of their fight with the CBFC. Days over days, people only heard or read about the film and the 89 cuts the CBFC asked the filmmakers to make. The fight that only recently ended when the Bombay High Court allowed the film to release with only one cut, filmmakers called the decision a revolutionary move in favour of their freedom of expression.
The adult comedy starring Sunny Leone in a double role, alongside Tusshar Kapoor and Vir Das found itself in a soup when the CBFC suggested 381 cuts to be made. Certified ‘A’, the film anyway only had a limited audience reach, and with CBFC suggesting so many cuts it almost felt that the film will not see the light of the day. The Censor Board first refused to provide a certificate, and then recommended cuts. The film later released, which according to Sunny didn’t have the cuts suggested by the censor board.
A female buddy film, Angry Indian Goddesses is about the lives of six women who come together to celebrate lives. While the film dealt with the good and bad in their lives, they rightly portrayed the social evils that women face. The film saw itself in a wrath with the Censor Board, as the board suggested 16 cuts in the film and also objected the use of the image of Goddess Kali. The cuts didn’t make much of a difference, but the image was blurred in the film. The cast believed that the film was more for women empowerment and not to disrespect anybody.
Pahlaj Nihlani, the Chief of CBFC was trolled for being the most sanskari person alive. He was trolled after cutting the kissing scenes in the film. Daniel Crag’s kissing scene was shortened in the film, and the film had four cuts that left the Indian viewers unhappy. Soon after that the Censor Board Chief was trolled on Twitter with #SanskariJamesBond. The film though was given the ‘U/A’ certificate by the board, but after it had cut four scenes and shortened kissing scenes.
The adaptation of an erotic romantic novel penned down by El James, 50 Shades Of Grey is first installment of the 50 Shades trilogy. The film which is high on sexual content saw itself fall prey to the CBFC, who first planned on banning the film. Later Universal Studious appealed to the relevant committee, and after providing cuts the film was allowed to release. Not much to say, but the film quite lacked the essence of the subject due to the cuts suggested by the CBFC.
By Stuti Srivastava
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