The Indian film censor board desperately needs an overhaul. This is the demand raised by filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, upset by the fact that his upcoming romantic comedy, Dil toh Bachcha Hai Ji, has been awarded an ‘adults only’ rating by the Board.
Bhandarkar’s comments come a week after filmmaker Prakash Jha had aired similar views about the Board’s objection to the promos of his film Turning 30. “It’s high time the younger generation ran the censor board. They know how times have changed and what people want,” laments Bhandarkar, calling the 14 cuts suggested by the Board for his movie “completely unnecessary.” “They said the content of these scenes was ‘too real’. But today, there’s hardly anything that viewers as young as 13-14 don’t know. So, why try and stop them from watching a film which is rooted in reality?” he says.
His views have found support in the fraternity. “Our censor board has double standards. They seem confused to me. We need much younger members in the Board, says actor Gul Panag who stars in Turning 30.
“Our censor board is nonsense,” fimmaker Prakash Jha had snapped at a press conference recently.
In their defence, the chairperson of the Indian Censor Board, Sharmila Tagore, 64, says, “We can’t hire 18-years old as one needs a certain experience to be in the board. Madhur must know that we have 25-30 year olds also as members. It’s true that we are the obstructionists but our decision caters to the whole society and not just the modern youth. Had people not had different sensibilities, we would not have got obscenity litigations against item songs like Munni and Sheila.”
Bhandarkar, meanwhile plans to seek consideration by the Board to review the A-certifcate for his film that releases on January 28.