At the Thiruvanthipuram meeting of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) not a murmur was heard about the ouster of Chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani. It was conveniently leaked into the press just days before the scheduled meeting that CBFC’s removal was a primary reason for the meeting.
“Not at all! Says a board member who was present at Thiruvanthipuram. We didn’t talk about Mr Nihalani’s removal at all.” However the CBFC chief’s worries are far from over. At the Thiruvanthipuram meet the prime focus of discussion was director Jeyan Cherian Malayalam film Ka Bodyscapes, the film that has been banned by Nihalani. The filmmakers have now gone to the court, and as per the courts’ orders the censor board members re-viewed the film at Thiruvanthuipuram.
They’ve decided it is sensible and correct to reverse the CBFC’s decision of banning Ka Bodyscapes. Says the board members, “As per the honourable court’s orders we saw Ka Bodyscapes again at Thiruvanthipuram on July 28. Most of us were of the opinion that the CBFC’s decision to ban the film is wrong. We think the film deserves a release with some vital cuts.”
Cherian’s film has been a matter of contention in the CBFC for over six months. The Examining and Revising Committees have refused to certify the film for its gay content and its alleged unacceptable remarks on religion.
The board meeting on July 28 brought out the growing dissent within the CBFC. Says the board member, “We think Mr Nihalani is wrong in not certifying Ka Bodyscapes. Because of such narrow-minded views of social realities the CBFC is acquiring the reputation of being bigoted and homophobic.”
However Pahlaj Nihlani dismisses these voices of dissent within the CFBC as fashionably modulated liberalism. “This is nothing but an attempt to let the world know how liberal we are. Some board members want to project themselves as the face of liberalism within the CBFC for their own advantages.”