Censor Board controversies

Written By kom nampultig on Minggu, 08 Maret 2015 | 08.20

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According to a report in Mumbai Mirror, after the Censor Board members were reportedly divided on the certification of Anushka Sharma's NH10, the producers took the film to the Revising Committee who watched the film and cleared it with an 'A' certificate. "NH10 has been passed with a few audio cuts and a video cut that does not damage the film at all. They saw it completely in context and even appreciated it. It was a very reassuring revising committee," said Anurag Kashyap, who has co-produced the film with Anushka. NH10 is the story of a woman's revenge, is peppered with expletives and gore. CBFC CEO, Shravan Kimar, points out that the idea is to disseminate information through the process of certification to a cinema loving population about the film's content so it will facilitate the choices they make. "The idea is not to curb the creative freedom of the filmmaker," he maintained.

While the Censor Board was accommodating when it came to the expletives used in NH10, the skin show in Fifty Shades Of Grey was perhaps a tad too much for them... 

Censor Board controversies

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According to a Reuters report, Indian government censors have said they will not allow the big-screen adaptation of erotic novel, Fifty Shades Of Grey to be shown in cinemas. The film that released worldwide on Valentine's Day, wasn't released in India due to censorship issues. The chief executive of the Central Board of Film Certification, Shravan Kumar, declined to say why the panel refused to approve the film adaptation, but said Universal Pictures, the Comcast Corp unit that released the film, could appeal the decision. A Universal Pictures source familiar with the review process has been quoted in the report as saying that the board had objected to some of the film's dialogue, even after the studio made voluntary edits to the film to tone down its sex scenes and removed all nudity.

The film has grossed at least $400 million in global sales. However, for some countries the kinky story line was too much. Malaysia, Indonesia and Kenya have banned Fifty Shades Of Grey from their theatres, largely because of its sexual content.

Rajyavardhan Rathore will revisit film certification criteria, meet Bollywood representatives every three months, and review the Cinematograph Act 1952. Read on to know more... 

Censor Board controversies

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03

According to a Mumbai Mirror report, Rajyavardhan Rathore will revisit film certification criteria, meet Bollywood representatives every three months, and review the Cinematograph Act 1952. Rajyavardhan, who is the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, shot down Central Board of Film Cerfication chief Pahlaj Nihalani's order banning use of certain cuss words and expressions in films, the report stated.

The minister reportedly withdrew Nihalani's list, which contained such Hindi words and expressions as haraami, saali and even the city's old name 'Bombay', after film industry delegation met him on February 25, 2015, at his New Delhi office. The Bollywood contingent included producer-director Anurag Kashyap, producers Siddharth Roy Kapur and Mukesh Bhatt, and Uday Singh, CEO of the Indian arm of the Motion Pictures Association of America, read the report. According to Mumbai Mirror's source present at the meeting, Rajyavardhan asked the delegation to just "ignore" Nihalani's list. He agreed with the delegation's view that expletives in a film certified 'adult' need not be beeped out. The issue of smoking supers - ­the mandatory warning that must appear on screen whenever a character lights up, ­was also discussed, the report concluded.

Read further to know what Shah Rukh Khan had to say about banning of cuss words by the CBFC... 

Censor Board controversies

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04

CBFC's decision to ban around 28 cuss words has become a raging issue in the Hindi film industry and it has been slammed by many in Bollywood. Shah Rukh Khan feels that instead of banning cuss words, the Censor Board should have more categories. "Censor Board is there to see, analyse and understand whether a film has a negative effect on anyone not only in terms of language but also as a bigger picture. Does it incite any kind of differentiation on religion, caste, creed, colour, sex, name or in any wrong sense? A generic rule for everyone will be strange and difficult to follow. I don't understand why one should have a finalised list of cuss words. But I think these are guidelines and they were always there. Though now everyone is suddenly talking about it, it was always there. I think the Censor Board should have a lot more categories in censorship rather than just U, U/A. We should have more clerical and non-clerical guidance. This might solve some problem," said Shah Rukh.

While Shah Rukh has expressed his view on the Censor Board, read on to know the Board's verdict on Anurag Kashyap's film Bombay Velvet...
- Vijaya Tiwari 

Censor Board controversies

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05

According to a report in Mid-day, Anurag Kashyap has been allowed to retain the word 'Bombay' in the title of his upcoming film, Bombay Velvet. The report stated that as per an internal decision taken by the Censor Board, Anurag has been allowed to retain the title of his film. A source was quoted in the report as saying that apart from the cuss words and other issues, the usage of the word 'Bombay' in films was discussed. The conclusion that was reached upon was that a film should be allowed to use the colonial name if it is set in a period before the 'The Maharashtra Restoration of Name Mumbai for Bombay Act' came into effect, the report concluded.

While the Censor Board has given a nod to Bombay Velvet, read on to know why Shabana Azmi thinks it would be better to adopt the US standards of censorship rather than the one we currently follow... 

Censor Board controversies

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Actress-social activist Shabana Azmi, who had slammed the Central Board of Film Certification's decision to refrain from profanity in films, had appealed to give up the British system of censorship and adopt the American one, whereby the filmmakers are liberal about their own films and censorship. CBFC chairperson Pankaj Nihalani had issued a controversial diktat blacklisting 'offensive' words from Indian films. The decision left many Bollywood celebrities in shock and disagreement and Shabana was one of them.

According to an IANS report, she said, "Censor Board's business is to certify and not censor according to appropriate ages. I think it is very important that we discard the British system, which means you appoint a chief and then you have 30 different people who willingly are chosen according to the political dispensation of the day, which means every five years you expect the morality of your country to change. Instead we should adopt the American system, whereby the filmmakers themselves yield and decide that they don't want a single cut, but they realise that age appropriate behaviour is important. If they have a universal exhibition then they voluntarily give cuts."

Read on to know what Mahesh Bhatt had to say about CBFC... 

Censor Board controversies

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According to a Mumbai Mirror report, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt rued that we are living in oppressive times and members of the film fraternity, who once fought this battle along with them, have now become the thought police. "The CBFC is free to do what it wishes, but there is no lock, no gate, no bolt that it can set upon the freedom of our minds. This is a battle which they will never win because this is India, not China or Saudi Arabia," he thundered. Pooja Bhatt insisted while speaking to Mirror, "We must have the audacity to go to the Revising Committee or even the Supreme Court. Most people don't have the grit to take on the system but I do." Ashoke Pandit, a member of the Censor Board and President of Indian Film and TV Directors Association, is planning to approach the Information & Broadcasting Ministry with representatives of producers, directors and technical associations, the report further stated. "I'm a filmmaker myself and I don't agree with these creative restrictions on potraying a character. A sex worker will sound like a professor now?" he said to Mirror.

The Censor Board of Film Certification has often been embroiled in controversies over its decisions. Let's take a look at some such issues that made headlines... 

Censor Board controversies

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According to a Mumbai Mirror report, Pahlaj Nihalani, the new CBFC Chairperson, dismissed accusations of political interference and corruption. Of late, the Censor Board has been dogged by controversies with some producers alleging bias and others getting away with 'objectionable' content. The CBFC has also been under a cloud following corruption charges against its former CEO, Rakesh Kumar. Nihalani said to Mumbai Mirror, that in his career he has never been asked to offer money to an official, and it was only during the last chairperson's tenure that allegations of corruption cropped up. He added saying that those allegations were made up in the interest of a few people. 

Censor Board controversies

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09

According to a report on Thehindu.com, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Arun Jaitley, accused Central Board of Film Certification chairperson, Leela Samson, and its other members for "politicising routine issues." He called the Censor Board members as "rebels without a cause." In his Facebook post, Jaitley wrote, "It is the UPA-appointed Censor Board which has since continued. If there is any corruption, the UPA appointees have themselves to blame… I only wished that the fact of corruption had been communicated even once by the chairperson of the censor board to me. The non-functional chairperson never did so." 

Censor Board controversies

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10

Following the clearance of Messenger of God featuring Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in lead role, censor board chief Leela Samson reportedly said that she has decided to resign. According to a PTI report, when asked if she was aware of media reports that the nod has been given by FCAT to the film's screening, Samson said, "I hear so. Nothing in writing yet. It is a mockery of Central Board of Film Certification. My resignation is final. Have informed the (I&B) Secretary." When asked why she has decided to quit, she did not specifically refer to the reported clearance to the film, but said the reasons cited are alleged "interference, coercion and corruption of panel members and officers of the organization who are appointed by the ministry." According to a report in Hindustan Times, Leela allegedly accused the information and broadcasting ministry of stifling her functioning by meddling in decisions. The report stated that Leela said there is total interference, be it a small movie or a big movie. She also said that a lot of pressure was put on PK through various fundamentalist organisations and through panel members of the board to cut scenes. 

Censor Board controversies


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