Let’s not use CBFC for con­tro­versy: Prasoon Joshi

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - Hindustan Times (Jaipur) - City - - Front Page - IANS

Alit­tle over two months into his ten­ure as the Cen­tral Board of Film Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion (CBFC) Chair­per­son, writer-ad guru Prasoon Joshi is a tad dis­ap­pointed at how the cen­sor board is used as a spring­board for con­tro­ver­sies. It needs to stop, he says. His com­ment comes amidst the row over Tamil film Mer­sal, af­ter cer­tain re­ports in­di­cated that the movie’s Tel­ugu ver­sion was get­ting de­layed due to the CBFC. The movie it­self has been em­broiled in con­tro­versy af­ter the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP de­manded the re­moval of cer­tain dia­logues which take a dig at the Goods and Ser­vices Tax (GST) and Dig­i­tal In­dia. Joshi says, “I’m not up­set, but dis­ap­pointed that be­fore [peo­ple] make ac­cu­sa­tions and al­le­ga­tions, you should check. [Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion] process re­quires sen­si­tiv­ity from both ends. Let’s not use CBFC for com­mer­cial rea­sons or for some­body’s po­lit­i­cal ca­reer.” Over the re­cent years, sev­eral film­mak­ers have locked horns with the cen­sor board over its dik­tats and de­mands for cuts, mutes and changes, lead­ing to a brouhaha in the me­dia. Joshi, who was ap­pointed CBFC chief in Au­gust and suc­ceeded the rocky reign of Pahlaj Ni­ha­lani, says it’s time to move to con­tent from con­tro­versy. “It should be more about the con­tent that drives a film.” As far as Mer­sal is con­cerned, Joshi says it’s an “un­fair” as­sump­tion that the de­lay in the Tel­ugu ver­sion was caused by the CBFC. “The film fra­ter­nity knows that it will take a cer­tain time and the time is clearly men­tioned on the of­fi­cial web­site,” Joshi said, also deny­ing that the board asked for changes in the Tel­ugu ver­sion. “I come from the film fra­ter­nity, and I know the pain of mak­ing films. But on the other hand, we need to also un­der­stand that there are peo­ple in the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process who are work­ing hard. Not be­ing ap­pre­cia­tive of that and not be­ing cog­nisant of their time, is also not fair,” he says.

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