Looks like Bollywood personalities and fans would have to wait for a little longer before the films can get free of ‘sanskaari’ policies of the CBFC. An RTI query has revealed that the government has still not completed examining the report submitted by noted filmmaker Shyam Benegal last year. Moreover, they have also asked for wider consultations for the same.
Pahlaj Nihalani became chairman of the CBFC in beginning of 2015 and ever since, he has become controversy’s favourite child. He started cutting even not-so-objectionable terms and sequences from films, that shocked one and all. He also started imposing cuts in adult-certified films. The James Bond film Spectre, Anushka Sharma-starrer NH10, Anurag Kashyap-produced Udta Punjab, the recently released Lipstick Under My Burkha and many other films were compelled to cut for highly unjustified reasons and it became the topic of discussion everywhere. Finally, the government took note of the suggestion. On January 1, 2016, it came to light that the then I&B minister Arun Jaitley asked Shyam Benegal and a five-member committee to review the working of the CBFC and suggest changes. The filmmaker and the committee made it clear that they want the CBFC to be a Certification Board. They also asked for new grading system, like in USA, such as PG-13, NC-17 etc.
The Phase 1 of the report was submitted in April 2016 while the Phase 2 was submitted in June 2016. When one year passed and no update was given by the Government as to when the report will be passed, RTI activist Paras Nath Singh filed an RTI in July this year to get the required details. The I&B ministry replied to the RTI query on August 1 which confirmed that they are still examining the report. Moreover, they are waiting to get wider consultations in this matter. The I&B ministry admitted that they are not maintaining daily status report. There is also no information as to until when will the government implement the changes in the process of censorship.
This is surely a piece of information that would dishearten those who are desperately waiting for changes in the CBFC. Here’s hoping the required changes are incorporated soon!