Just a few days before its release Toilet – Ek Prem Katha is embroiled in a caste controversy. A character in the film was heard saying, “I am a Brahmin. But I eat eggs.”
While initially the Central Board Of Film Certification let the line go thinking it is more an individual comment than a comment on any caste or community, it was soon brought to light that the seemingly casual line secretes a caste bias.
“We’ve asked the makers of Toilet – Ek Prem Katha to remove the caste reference. The word ‘Brahmin’ is not allowed specially when seen to be speaking on behalf of the community. The line propagates the myth that Brahamins are strict vegetarians. We cannot allow sweeping generalizations on any caste or community,” says a source from the CBFC.
The line referring to a Brahmin who eats eggs would have to be removed. “The caste system has been abolished in India. If today J P Dutta wants to make Kshatriya or the late Vijay Anand were to make Rajput the titles would not be allowed,” says a CBFC source, adding that way back in 2008 a reference to a lohar (ironsmith) had to be removed from a song and dance featuring Madhuri Dixit in Aaja Nachle.
The censor board has asked the makers of Bombay Velvet to remove the word ‘dhobi’ from a song in the film.
According to guidelines all references to members of any specific caste or community is strictly prohibited through censorial guidelines. “Aamir Khan’s Dhobi Ghat had to get a clearance from the dhobi community before it could be called that,” says a source from the censor board.