The censor board bleeped out the word "Bombay" from a music video on women’s safety before allowing its television broadcast, sparking outrage and a social media debate on Monday.
Vocalist Mihir Joshi, who wrote the song, "Sorry", in December 2012 to highlight how vulnerable women were in the country in the wake of a brutal gang-rape in Delhi, said the word was used only because it rhymed well.
India’s financial capital was renamed Mumbai in 1995 following an aggressive campaign by the Shiv Sena that governed the state at the time in an alliance with the BJP.
"If the censor board can explain how the term 'Bombay' hurts anyone’s sentiments and if their explanation is acceptable to me and everyone associated with the music video, I will be okay with the decision," said Joshi.
Board member Ashok Pandit said the certificate for the song was issued on December 5, 2014, when UPA-appointee Leela Samson was the agency’s chairperson before the body was reconstituted last month.
"When the censor board objected to the word then, why didn’t he (Joshi) go to the revising committee?" he said. "If you have accepted the certificate, you have accepted the change. Why has he woken up after a month?"
The hashtag "Bombay" was trending for several hours on Twitter, as many users described the decision as "mindless", "idiotic" and "unacceptable".