The Shyam Benegal Committee that was asked to suggest changes in the current functioning of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), submitted its report to the government in June. Reports now claim that a major ‘overhauling’ of the board is going to happen soon.
The ‘overhaul’ may have little to do with the uproar that led to the formation of the committee in January. A DNA report said CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani has written a “strongly-worded letter” to the Information And Broadcasting ministry complaining about some board members who speak against CBFC policies in media.
“The Ministry has taken serious note of Nihalani’s complaint against some members who break official guidelines by criticising the CBFC’s policy decisions. These members have been repeatedly warned but continue to lash out at CBFC policies. Now stern action will be taken against CBFC members who insist on using media platforms to criticize internal decisions rather than discussing these problems with the CBFC chairperson or the Ministry,” it quoted a source as saying.
Refusing to deny or confirm that he wrote the letter, Pahlaj told Hindustan Times, “It is an internal matter and I would not like to say anything in public right now. If you have any other question, you can ask me.”
Asked to explain the cuts suggested by the CBFC to Katrina Kaif-Sidharth Malhotra-starrer Baar Baar Dekho, Nihalani said, “Every single film is a different context. We watch 15-16 films in a day. The cuts suggested are as per situation in the movie.”
The Benegal panel, in its first report submitted on April 26, urged the government to lay down a “holistic framework for certification of films.” Other members of the committee include actor Kamal Haasan, filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, ad-man Piyush Pandey, film critic Bhawana Somaaya and NFDC Managing Director Nina Lath Gupta.
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