The director of ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz‘ Kushan Nandy had got the support of filmmakers from the Indian Film and Television Directors Association (IFTDA). This support was because the CBFC had ordered make major verbal and visual cuts. Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani has now hit out at the movie’s supporters for defaming the CBFC.
Nihalani speculates that this fracas with the IFTDA is planned to bring publicity for the film in collusion with “disgruntled elements” from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
He said,”Look at the timing of their so-called revolt against the CBFC. Kushan Nandy (director) and his producer (Kiran Shroff) had come to us for a certificate in the first week of July. We had given them an ‘A’ certificate with many cuts which included graphic scenes of love making and explicit references to inflamed body parts.”
He added, “They had the choice of either going to the Revising Committee or the Tribunal (Film Certification Appellate Tribunal). They chose to go straight to the Tribunal. Now when the Tribunal is viewing their film this week, they suddenly decide to create a stir around their film. And what better target than the CFBC? Where were they for a month? What happened to suddenly awaken their dormant liberal impulses?”
In Wednesdays’ conference, the cast and crew of the film, which also included actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bidita Bag, were present and some of its members like filmmaker Sudhir Mishra, Ashoke Pandit, Alankrita Shrivastava, Vikramaditya Motwane and Rahul Dholakia were also there.
The makers of the film claim that to justify the 48 cuts, CBFC said that even children watch an ‘A’ film. Shroff also claimed that the CBFC members also humiliated her. Nihalani says that the criticism levelled at the CBFC isn’t the problem, but he has a problem with the motive and the support the protesters seem to have harnessed from within the CBFC.
Said Nihalani, “Like I said, they waited for almost a month and decided to make a noise on the eve of the film’s viewing by the Tribunal about the CBFC’s tyranny, injustice and non-liberal attitude. They are being supported by elements from within the CBFC who claim to be the face of liberalism in the CBFC.”
“The meeting with the IFTDA was supposed to be attended by filmmakers. But there were individuals at the meeting who have not made a film in decades.”
Now, the CBFC chairperson has recommended the strongest action against those defaming the CBFC for publicity.
“You (the makers of Babumoshai Bandookbaaz) claim that members of the CBFC misbehaved with you. And you are supported in your allegation by members of the CBFC. Please prove your allegation or be ready with answers in the court.”