Only cen­sor board knows how Lord Hanu­man spoke?

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Sub­hash K Jha

In what must be a first even by the In­dian cen­sor board’s fussy stan­dards, film­maker Ruchi Narain’s Hanu­man Da Dam­daar - a tongue-in-cheek re­vi­sion­ist take on the leg­end of Hanu­man, has been granted a ‘UA’ cer­tifi­cate with sev­eral ver­bal cuts. There is no prece­dent in In­dian cin­ema of cuts or changes or­dered by the cen­sor board in any an­i­ma­tion film or mytho­log­i­cal drama. Narain’s Hanu­man Da Dam­daar which has Sal­man Khan lend­ing his voice to Hanu­man, is caught in a pe­cu­liar sit­u­a­tion. So what gives, Mr Pahlaj Ni­ha­lani, we asked the cen­sor board chief ? He replied, “Nor­mally an­i­ma­tion films, and that too one about a mytho­log­i­cal theme would be passed with­out a hitch. But this film has lots of di­a­logue fea­tur­ing chil­dren which may of­fend re­li­gious sen­ti­ments.”

The film­mak­ers, mean­while ar­gue that what the cen­sor chief terms of­fen­sive is noth­ing but an at­tempt to make the mytho­log­i­cal fig­ure of Hanu­man ac­ces­si­ble to younger au­di­ences. The trailer of the film shows Hanu­man say­ing, among other things, ‘Hata Sawan ki ghata, it’s time for my katha.’ Rea­sons Ni­ha­lani, “That may be so. But the trendy lan­guage ap­plied to re­li­gious char­ac­ters may not be taken in the right spirit by ev­ery­one. We have to be very care­ful about re­li­gious con­tent. Yes,we’ve cut quite a few of the di­a­logues. But bet­ter safe than sorry.” Re­mind­ing that a ‘UA’ cer­tifi­cate has been given, he adds, “Chil­dren can come and watch the film with their par­ents. Prob­lem kya hai?”

PHOTO: SUNIL SHIRSEKAR / FOTOCORP

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