Will our censor board grow up?


By Hindustan Times

The Censor Board seems to have gone a step further in clamping down on the creative freedom of filmmakers. This time around, the board has asked Kapil Sharma, the director of the upcoming film, I Me Aur Main, to replace the word ‘sleep’ with the word ‘stay’, in the television promos of the film.

“There is a sequence in the film where the film’s actor Prachi says that she won’t ‘sleep’ with a guy. However the Censor Board has told us to change the dialogue, by replacing ‘I won’t ‘sleep’ with you to ‘stay’ with you in the tv promo,” explains the film’s director Kapil Sharma. However, Sharma feels that the Censor Board has turned a positive moment in the film, into a regressive one. “Honestly, in the film’s context the sequence it is a positive moment about a woman who is standing up for herself,” he shares. Sharma is however still hopeful that in the film, the word ‘sleep’ will be cleared by the board. Even in Sudhir Mishra’s last film, Inkaar, the board asked the word ‘sex’ to be changed to ‘adjust’ for the TV promo.

And filmmakers feel that it is time that the Censor Board gets progressive. “The board needs to change with the times, they cannot afford to live in the Ice Age,” says filmmaker Pritish Nandy. Agrees director Onir, “The board needs to move ahead with the times. I feel we are being scrutinised so myopically that creativity is being compromised,” says Onir. “There is a need to revaluate the different certifications in today’s context,” feels Sharma. However, director Sudhir Mishra thinks that the board is not be blamed alone: “They (the board) are being subjected to pressure from political parties.”

No reel violence against women
The Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has reportedly formulated a new set of rules according to which no violence against women can be shown in films - not even a slap between a quarelling couple. The censorial axe will also fall heavily on songs and dances which tend to titillate audiences.

However, Pankaja Thakur, CEO of CBFC has denied inclusion of a new set of rules. “There are no new censorship rules. The CBFC is just cautious about depiction of violence on screen, and the context of the violence does matter,” she said.