A few days ago, it was reported that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is finding it hard to make any progress in the case of former Censor Board CEO Rakesh Kumar’s arrest, as Bollywood isn’t coming forth to help the agency. Several reports quoted a senior CBI official saying, “The film industry can help in pinpointing people who were allegedly paying bribes, and the middlemen who were active and involved in alleged contravention of rules and regulations.”
However, when we communicated the same to a list of Bollywood producers, they were all more than willing to assist the CBI, but said they haven’t been approached yet.
When we contacted film-maker Subhash Ghai, he wasn’t even aware that the CBI was expecting help from Bollywood. “Nobody has approached me regarding this matter,” he says.
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According to some reports, the CBI did approach a few 'big names' in Bollywood, but refused to reveal who they were. Producer-director Onir feels that the agency might be approaching the wrong people. “They might have contacted big names who are not producing films right now. If they have called people who are not actively involved in the scene, then what’s the point?” says Onir, adding, “I am not afraid to talk to the CBI. I think a discussion will only help the industry. There are many such producers who are waiting to be asked (or help by the CBI).”
Other producers including Ramesh Taurani and Boney Kapoor also said that they would be happy to help. “If I was approached, I would have poured my heart out to them (CBI). The functioning has to be streamlined. There should be a good working relationship between the Censor Board and the film industry,” says Kapoor.
Taurani adds, “I think anybody who has faced any difficulty while dealing with the Censor Board will talk to the CBI. I will share my views if they approach me.” Mukesh Bhatt, who is the president of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India (FTPGI), says the association hasn’t been approached either, and that they “have nothing to hide”. Ghai feels that the FTPGI might be able to offer assistance in this matter. “They will share everything with and without evidence,” says Ghai, adding, “Like we want a corruption-free country, we also want a corruption-free Censor Board.”