Upset with Censor Board’s ‘moral policing’, film fraternity seeks I&B Ministry intervention

Renowned film industry faces met MoS, Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in Mumbai Monday, seeking the ministry’s intervention in connection with Central Board of Film Certification’s (CBFC) “moral policing” efforts.

Gulzar, Aamir Khan, Anurag Kashyap, Deepika Padukone, Shabana Azmi, Kiran Rao, Vidya Balan, Sidharth Roy Kapur and head of the producers’ guild Mukesh Bhatt attended the meeting. The CBFC CEO Shravan Kumar was also present.

The CBFC has seen several rows recently, the latest being over the list of ‘banned’ cuss words issued by chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani. While the list was put on hold after a CBFC board meeting last month, it was still being followed during certification process.

The film industry, upset with such stringent “moral policing”, has reached out to Arun Jaitley and Rathore.

Addressing mediapersons after the meeting, Rathore said the meeting was a first in a series of such interactions between the government and the film fraternity “in order to strengthen it”. While he refused to go into details, he said: “The government is very clear that it wants scenes and dialogues in context to the script and the film and CBFC will follow that.”

Rathore dismissed rumours that the film fraternity members demanded Nihalani’s removal.

The minister is scheduled to meet CBFC board members on Tuesday in a meeting that is likely to decide the fate of the cuss word list and affect changes, if any, to the certification process.

Stating that the meeting was fruitful, Bhatt said Rathore is keen to ensure that CBFC does not dictate any cuts or edits.
“He is keen that the film certification works on a rating system and tomorrow’s meeting is an important one,” he said.

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