Let’s not use CBFC for controversy: Prasoon Joshi
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.