Even as the clamour over Prakash Jha's Aarakshan fades out, the film industry is quietly extolling the much-needed liberal avatar of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
“The CBFC and the information and broadcasting ministry must be congratulated for ushering in this change being in sync with the contemporary reality,” said filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt.
The changes in the board's attitude had become obvious over the last couple of years especially with actor Sharmila Tagore and bureaucrat Vinayak Azad were at the helm.
For a body that is popularly referred to as censor board, CBFC chief Leela Samson wants to change its name to the Indian Board of Film Classification so as to signify the transition to a body that identifies, recognises and caters to needs of audiences.
In 2010, CBFC has cut 9,246 metres of total length of film, a significant reduction from 15,751 metres in 2009 and 21,324 metres in 2008.
“CBFC's role has been progressive over the last four years and it has become more representative of the contemporary world,” said actor Aamir Khan. “Film watching is an activity by choice. A rating system based on age classification will inform the public what to expect from film and then take appropriate decisions,” adds he.
Said Prakash Jha, veteran filmmaker: “CBFC is being very fair and one sees a real concern and effort on part of the CBFC to fully understand the content and subject of a film.” “Even the method in examining a film has changed in that a film is being viewed in totality and not in a piece-meal system.”