This is a fight to reclaim ‘evaporating freedoms’
Actor-filmmaker Amol Palekar’s wife Sandhya Gokhale (above, with Palekar) says that Palekar’s Supreme Court petition, challenging the “precensorship” of films, is a move to reclaim “evaporating freedoms”. Sandhya, a lawyer, filed the petition on behalf of Palekar. She tells us that the “arbitrary, rampant” decisions by the Central Board of Film Certification, aka Censor Board, need to stop.
“It has been going on for a long time — the fact that the Censor Board decides to not release a film [for] the most arbitrary reasons; and for the past three years, it has become rampant,” she says.
“They refused to certify a film, because the makers refused to cut the word Man Ki Bat from their film. Is it a cuss word or a patented phrase? Another film wasn’t given a certificate because it was ‘lady oriented,’” she adds.
Incidentally, Mann Ki Baat is a radio programme in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation.
Filmmaker Shyam Benegal, who heads a panel looking into revamping the Censor Board, says, “[A change] is both fundamental to and important for the film industry. I am awaiting a response from the government to our committee’s [interim] report.”
PLEA FOR EQUALITYPHOTO:YOGEN SHAH
In his Supreme Court petition, Amol Palekar has said that since the Internet was not censored and anyone could talk about anything online, censorship on filmmakers created an unfair situation. The SC has asked the Centre to reply.