The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chopped a bra scene from a recent film starring Katrina Kaif and Sidharth Malhotra, retained a boxer scene in another film that released on the same day and has given a clean chit to a song from an upcoming movie that features 25 kisses. Owing to their seemingly confused guidelines, the board, commonly known as censor, has attracted the industry’s ire on several occasions.
While director of the film Nitya Mehra said, “There’s no scene in the film with Katrina wearing a bra so it can’t be cut. It is a clean film. It has got a UA certificate.” The debate remains even if there is one, what’s the big deal.
Besides stars from the industry who don’t approve of these ruthless cuts, Ashoke Pandit, member of CBFC isn’t happy with the decision either. “Sadly, despite being in the Board, I have been fighting this entire battle. I feel people in the examining committee need to take a wise call, as times have changed. There is no limit of showing things and it’s not written in any law or act that you can censor scenes,” he says.
Stating that morality is extremely subjective and personal, actor Pooja Bedi, who recreated the famous Marilyn Monroe up skirt step back in 1992 film Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander, feels, “Rather than stupidly chop scenes, Censor Board can certify it for an appropriate audience and let adults and parents decide for themselves what is okay for them and their families to watch.”
The contraction comes when censor board chops some and keeps some and leaves the stars and audience confused. For instance, various other scenes and songs in the film were given a go ahead that showed Katrina donning outfits that are as good as a bra.
Ex Bigg Boss contestant Priya Malik who showed her support for ‘Free The Nipple Movement’ with a picture on Instagram feels that the Censor Board needs to re-evaluate its job description. “They’re a certification board and not the watchdogs of moral police. If there were any scenes in bra, why remove it? Is it not common sense or knowledge that women wear bras? When we wear it, it`s a problem and when we don’t wear it, it is also a problem. The real problem here is that people don’t understand that our bodies are our business. We need to normalise and not sexualize inner wear,” she says.
Director Homi Adajania of Cocktail and Finding Fanny fame says, “We’re in dire need to evolve. Censor Board needs to add more defined categories of certification so let viewers make an informed choice. Right now, it is a total violation of freedom for the Board to dictate what the public can and cannot see.”
This is not the first time a Bollywood film (apt for family viewing) has a bra scene. Back in 1995, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge showed SRK awkwardly picking up a bra that accidentally fell out from Kajol’s suitcase. Dum Laga Ke Haisha showcased newlywed Bhumi Pednekar shopping for bras and lingerie. Kangana Ranaut starrer Queen also had a scene showing Lisa Haydon removing her bra from underneath her top before heading out for a party, though it was later blurred for the Television premier of the film.
Award winning actor Kangana Ranaut even said in a TV interview, “My bra is not a danger to the society, so why blur it?”
Indian supermodel Ujjwala Raut adds to it, “If a movie scene has been shot aesthetically and looks classy, then people need to grow up and take a chill. (Also) sex sells, which is what will make the men go watch the movie but unfortunately we in India like to live in denial.”
Not satisfied with the Board’s current ideologies, Pandit retorts, “We all need to understand a film is not made for one person’s personal viewing or as per their choice, taste and thought process. If you are not too modern or don’t watch your kids to watch a particular thing, you have no right to stop other people from watching it too.”
In a day and age where audience are evolving with their taste in what they want to see in films, maybe Censor Board would soon mend its ways and come to terms with what sells on screen.
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