Actor Mallika Sherawat is raising many a brow for comparing censors to cancer, and even as the Censor Board seems unperturbed, filmmakers say she has a point.
On being asked by a Twitter follower if she’d abolish censorship in Bollywood if she could, Sherawat replied, “Censor is society’s cancer.”
To this, the chief of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Leela Samson says: “Whatever Mallika has said is her personal opinion. She is a good actor and I feel she has right to say whatever she wants.”
Most of the fraternity seems to side with Sherawat. “I am all for freedom. Without liberty and equality, no democracy is worth its name. Censorship is a blot on any democracy. Long before Sherawat, the greatest thinkers and leaders have said this,” says filmmaker Pritish Nandy.
Producer-director Mahesh Bhatt says, “I think Mallika meant that the censorship of human thought can be cancerous for the spirit.” He adds: “As far as the Censor Board is concerned, we have come a long way from the 1970s, but there’s a longer way to go.”
Filmmaker Alankrita Shrivastava, whose film Turning 30 (2011) ran into trouble with censors, however, feels, “Our Censor Board has double standards ... item songs where a woman shows her assets is fine, but there’s a problem with a woman who speaks her mind.”
Actor Gul Panag, who acted in the film, adds: “In an educated, aware society, censorship should be minimal. However, in a country with a large illiterate population, censorship is a necessary evil.”
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