A few weeks ago, Sonam Kapoor made news for showing the middle finger in a scene in the promo of her forthcoming film, Players. Soon after, the Censor Board of Film Certification asked the makers to blur the gesture. But that doesn’t stop the actor from voicing her opinion on the matter.
Lashing out at the censor board, she goes on to cite examples of Mahatma Gandhi and Anna Hazare to highlight the importance of the right to freedom of speech and expression. “India has always been known for encouraging the right to freedom of speech. From Mahatma Gandhi’s time till now, we have had personalities like Anna Hazare, who have been allowed to say and do what they want. It’s weird that something so stupid and of no consequence is being censored. It’s moral policing for no reason,” says Sonam.
The controversial scene sees Sonam raising her middle finger to the camera while dangerously manoeuvring a car. Initially, however, the censor board had cleared the Abbas-Mustan film for release with the sequence included. The decision to blur it was taken only recently.
To make her point even clearer, Sonam caused a stir last week after she decided to show her middle finger at a press conference in New Delhi. “Don’t you show middle finger to people in real life?” she questions, when asked what prompted her. “I understand that there is censorship, but at the same time, I don’t get why. Sometimes, content on the Internet or TV is way worse than what we watch in movies,” she says, insisting that those who are being protected by the censor board can easily access the content on the web.
Bringing up the smoking ban implemented in Bollywood films, she goes on, “Some people say, ‘oh, we should ban smoking in films.’ But my point is, why not put a blanket ban on cigarettes itself? But since the government gets taxes from those companies, they won’t do that. I find this really hypocritical.”
The action-packed film releases this Friday.