‘CBFC FEARS FE­MALE SEX­U­AL­ITY ON SCREEN’

Ac­tor Naseerud­din Shah says that only a psy­chi­a­trist could fig­ure out the Cen­sor Board’s at­ti­tude

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Sa­marth Goyal sa­marth.goyal@htlive.com

Naseerud­din Shah has watched the film Lip­stick Un­der My Burkha, star­ring his wife Ratna Pathak Shah, twice. And the veteran ac­tor can’t fig­ure out why the film was ini­tially de­nied cer­ti­fi­ca­tion by the Cen­tral Board of Film Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion (CBFC), aka Cen­sor Board.

“I re­ally don’t know what prob­lem they had with the film. I think they have a prob­lem with fe­male sex­u­al­ity be­ing por­trayed on screen. What the film’s suc­cess has done is that it has shown [the Cen­sor Board] up, and what they thought about the film. I have seen the film twice, and it’s a won­der­fully made film that talks about what’s go­ing on in so­ci­ety,” he says.

The CBFC let­ter in­form­ing that cer­ti­fi­ca­tion wouldn’t be given had called the film “lady-ori­ented”, a per­plex­ing word that drew much ridicule from film­mak­ers and ac­tors. Af­ter­wards, the Lip­stick team got the re­quired clear­ance from the Film Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Ap­pel­late Tri­bunal. This has been one of the most high­pro­file tus­sles between the Cen­sor Board and film teams in re­cent mem­ory. Direc­tor Alankrita Shri­vas­tava fought for al­most six months to get a clean chit for Lip­stick.

Shah says, “One has to ask a psy­chi­a­trist as to why they are afraid of [fe­male sex­u­al­ity] on screen... But the suc­cess of such films prove that no one is both­ered about what the Cen­sor Board or the doubters think about [th­ese] films.”

Shah crit­i­cises the Cen­sor Board for be­ing dic­ta­to­rial. He says, “They are sup­posed to give a film a cer­tifi­cate; they are no author­ity to ban a film, or stay its re­lease. But then they claim to be some­one who can do that. Their nar­row­minded ap­proach af­fects the film in­dus­try. But noth­ing has been done about it.”

It’s fright­en­ing to see that the Board can do what­ever it wants, prac­tise its bi­ases openly, and ban films that it doesn’t like NASEERUD­DIN SHAH, AC­TOR

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