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Irony of Indian Cinema - Where even censored films can be dropped and violently opposed. (An overview by Bobby Sing)

16 Nov, 2017 | Articles on Cinema

This year’s International Film Festival of India (IFFI) appointed filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh as the jury head of its Indian Panorama section and the jury submitted a list of their final selection of movies to the ministry. However they were all quite shocked to see the names of two selected films pulled out of their submitted list, that wasn’t really expected without any prior information given to the jury members. Opposing the sudden exclusion Sujoy has reportedly resigned as the head and many veterans have expressed their disappointment over the issue addressing the concerned authorities.
Supporting Sujoy, the renowned filmmaker Shyam Benegal said that the Government should support the filmmakers. There is no meaning of having a jury if their selection isn’t the final one and can be altered further. But supporting the exclusion, Gajendra Chauhan congratulated the ministry for taking such timely step of withdrawing the two questionable films.
Among the two movies, first is a Malayalam film S DURGA, a bold road movie directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, who agreed to change the title of his film for a Censor Certificate. And second is NUDE, a Marathi film directed by National Award winning director Ravi Jadhav, revolving around a nude model working in an art school. No doubt both the filmmakers were not expecting this development after submitting their film for the reputed festival.
On the other hand, the protest against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s PADMAVATI turned violent and activists of Karni-Sena organization vandalized a theater in Kota, Rajasthan for running the (duly censored) trailer of the said film, scheduled to be released in December.
Keeping in mind these recent happenings, the question arises that once a film or its trailer gets legally passed by the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) - a statutory body operating under the Information and Broadcasting ministry, then isn’t it sufficient in legal terms before going for a public exhibition? In other words, if even after having a censor certificate, a film still can get officially withdrawn or openly opposed by public then isn’t that mockery of the CBFC itself creating a strange irony.
Putting it bluntly, what exactly is the role of our CBFC here; if its certification is not considered as a final government document issued after duly watching, discussing and even editing the so-called objectionable content in a film?
So the write-up here is not about whether a film is vulgar or it distorts history showcasing it as an objectionable fiction. It’s actually about what is the legal value of a censor certificate here? And what rights a filmmaker has, if he duly gets his certificate after making the required cuts and satisfying the appointed members of a government body.
Just give it a thought!

(Note: The article was also published on UC-News Mobile App in November 2017)

Tags : Irony of Indian Cinema - An overview by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Agitations against already censored films, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com
16 Nov 2017 / Comments ( 4 )
I totally agree with your stand. We should respect the decision of our censor board and should stand against these fringe groups. If they have a problem with the content, there are legal ways to deal with it. Threaten an actor or vandalizing a theatre is not at all justified! 
Bobby Sing

Thanks for your comment Anurag.
And you are very right about the legal way of opposing movies that should be followed.
It has happened with many movies in the past and keeps happening repeatedly.
Regarding comments I actually was out of station for the weekend do couldnt approve the comments.

Sorry for the delay.

Keep Visiting and Writing in.


Bobby, I completely agree with your article. In my opinion, the reason for the long continuing disparity comes because in the past, the censor board also, proved to repeatedly overstepping their bounds. As per my understanding, it's the board's job to certify a film and NOT dictate to make a film. With Pahlaj Nihlani at the head of the board, they miserably failed at this duty. Now, with Prasoon Joshi, hopefully, the board's duties and activities will be a lot more cut & dry.
And yes, I am in complete agreement with your article that other organizations such as childish political parties have NO RIGHT to decide how we, as democratic citizens, (though only on paper as India can hardly be called democratic in terms of the mindsets & repeated mob mentalities), can or cannot watch. The million dollar question now, is what can be done to put an end to such childish behavior like putting out a bounty on film personalities and foolish, backward threats to burn down movie theaters?

Bobby Sing

Thanks for you detailed comment and support Neel.
But the situations is really grim with no solution in sight even after weeks or rather a month now.

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