The Central Board of Film Certification in India is at it again. This time, the board's wrath has fallen on Raj Amit Kumar's Unfreedom, a film high on sexually charged content.
And guess what did the board say to justify the ban? That Unfreedom will 'ignite unnatural passion'! Now, if you think it cannot get any more bizarre, there's an endless trail of more such out-of-this-world justifications (read illogical too) to banning a film. Here’s a list of five such decisions which landed the Censor Board in a controversy.
Ban on MSG: Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s film MSG – The Messenger should perhaps take the credit for starting it all. The then CBFC chief Leela Samson refused to issue the public viewing certificate to MSG, saying the film was a 'blatant self promotion'. Obviously, the whole issue simply spiralled into a full-blown controversy, grabbing headlines all across, forcing Samson to put in her papers before her tenure as the board chief ended.
New appointments: The NDA government didn’t waste much time in appointing a whole new team in the CBFC office. Film producer Pahlaj Nihalani was crowned the head of the board while many others had RSS affiliation. Very soon, Nihalani began making his point of view clear by stopping films with so called ‘objectionable’ content. Hollywood film 50 Shades Of Grey faced his wrath in particular as it wasn’t allowed to hit screens despite promising more than 70 cuts.
Leaked list: A list of words banned by the Censor Board started doing rounds on internet in February. The list also had words like Bombay and bastard which have been in use since many years in Bollywood. In fact, the list was devised in such a way that it could bring any film under scanner. The word Bombay was bleeped out of singer Mihir Joshi’s song.
Ashoke Pandit-KJo fight: One of the CBFC members, Ashoke Pandit stirred another controversy when he targeted filmmaker Karan Johar for the AIB Roast. His exact words were, “Karan Johar could have easily shown his position while performing sex to his mom at home instead of making it public. #AIB Porn Show.”
Later, Pandit also got in a fight with Nihalani. "Films after films are becoming innocent victims of his mindless tyranny. His ridiculous diktats and autocratic functioning has made CBFC a laughing stock," Pandit wrote on his Facebook page.
No meeting for Nihalani: Pahlaj Nihalani also skipped an important meeting with the minister of state for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. This suggested that everything is not well between the ministry and the board chief.