With veteran film actor Sharmila Tagore’s term as the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification coming to an end next month, there’s much buzz about who’ll be the next censor chief. While actor Shabana Azmi and filmmaker Ramesh Sippy are the reported frontrunners for the position, not everyone is happy with the list of candidates.
A poll among a cross-section of industry insiders and youngsters —100 in all — revealed that most would rather choose a young chief for the coveted position, as such a person will be able to tap the pulse of today’s young filmmakers and audience better.
“I think we need a young person as the censor board chief, because he or she will know what should be censored and what not. A lot of movies, like Turning 30, have faced censor problems due to a clash in outlook. Aamir Khan and Rahul Bose would make for good candidates,” says Rohan Walia, 25.
“I believe that a young person would bring in a broader outlook to Indian cinema as a whole. Someone like Rahul Bose, who is young, well-read and intelligent, would be a great option. Gul Panag, too, will make for a good chief,” says Ipsita Narang, a freelance writer.
Panag says she’ll only be happy to play the part. “Of course, we need a younger censor chief and I will be happy to take on the responsibility. 60 % of our population is below 35. And that must reflect in all institutions — censor board, parliament and others,” she says.
Experts agree. “Considering the young population of India, it is high time we had younger people as head of the board. Today, young filmmakers are leading the way. So, neither they nor young audiences want to be led by oldies. They cry, ‘let us breathe the air of freedom.’ Aamir Khan would be my first choice for the post,” says ad guru Alyque Padamsee.
Some, however, believe that it is not a matter of age, but of how young the person thinks. Filmmaker Pooja Bhatt says, “More than a young chief, we need a chief with young ideas.” “I don’t think it is anything to do with age. It is about understanding the times that we live in, and viewing things in that respect,” says filmmaker Rajkumar Gupta.
She is a progressive, well-informed and balanced person who represents gen x well — Alankrita Shrivastava, filmmaker
He is open to all kinds of cinema and is changing with the times, which you see in his films — Taran adarsh, film expert
He is an intelligent, sensible and forward-thinking man with an opinion — Vikramaditya Motwane, filmmaker