Their discussion was interrupted by a passionate member of the audience, who had remained silent till that point, but rose to refute their claims, leaving the audience spellbound, while at the same time, gathering their support.
Later, she revealed herself as Pankaja Thakur, the new Regional Officer of the Central Board of Film Certification, a mere spectator to the “blame game towards the censor board.”
In a face off with the members of the film fraternity, she says, “A lot of films add certain scenes just for sensationalism, which we are left with no option but to remove. Then you blame us, saying that we cut all your content, not realizing that we have people above us who take the final call. And we always ensure that that person is from Bollywood. So you are basically coming back with your problems to your own people.”
As the debate stretched on over an hour, members of the audience became more vocal in their support for Thakur. Some even threatened to stage a walkout, while members of the media were being asked to leave the hall. Evidently, things were turning ugly.
“India is a developing country, and seems ready to be exposed to some matter. The board cuts out matter from films that is imperative to the final product,” said Bhatt, in response.
Under the condition of anonymity a member of the audience, who was witness to the argument, said, “Everyone was stunned at what she had to say. Usually Bollywood people get very agressive when discussing topics like censorship. Even they were taken aback when she took them on.”