The “scissors” of the censor board must be abolished, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, a part of the Central Board of Film Certification’s (CBFC) revamp panel led by celebrated filmmaker Shyam Benegal, said in the wake of the controversy around the film Udta Punjab.
The censor board, headed by BJP-appointed Pahlaj Nihalani, is said to have suggested 89 cuts to the Abhishek Chaubey directorial, which delves into the drug abuse issue in Punjab.
Asked to comment about this system of cuts and the Udta Punjab row, Mehra said, “You can fight that out. Don’t agree to the cuts (made by CBFC). There is a Revising Committee. Then there is High Court and Supreme Court. Fight it out. I’m part of the censor committee since last five months. Day and night we have been working, and our recommendation is to abolish the scissor. There should be no scissors. End of story. We should have a rating system.”
Earlier this year, the government announced the formation of the Benegal Committee to recommend a holistic framework for the country’s film censor board, and to suggest changes in the Cinematograph Act, so that artistic creativity and freedom are not curtailed.
Watch: Trailer of Udta Punjab
The committee had submitted its report in April.
The ways of the Indian censor board have come in for criticism time and again, and this time, Bollywood has locked horns with the CBFC over Udta Punjab. The film’s co-producer Anurag Kashyap has been vocal about condemning censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani regarding the cuts, and a slew of filmmakers have joined him in his battle.