Leena Yadav’s globally acclaimed film Parched about four spirited women in rural Rajasthan battling patriarchy is all set for an Indian release next Friday.
The Indian Censor Board has not only lauded the film for its content, but also shown tremendous liberality by leaving the film’s powerful , sometimes disturbing content untouched.
Says the film’s producer Aseem Bajaj (a reputed cinematographer and the film’s director Leena Yadav’s husband), “The Censor Board has passed the film for ‘Adults Only’ with just a few cuts. We are very grateful to the Censor Board. They’ve shown immense empathy, sensitivity and generosity towards Parched.”
Apparently, there were two women members in the jury of the Censor Board who were moved to tears by Leena Yadav’s film.
Says Aseem, “They were all moved and were reluctant to cut anything except a shot of a bare breast. They said it (a breast) does not jell with the Indian audiences’ sensibility. We were okay with that. They gave us the option of removing or blurring the breast. We chose the latter option.”
The Censor Board has also objected to some abusive language. That too was willingly removed.
Says Aseem, “There were scenes showing little boys using abusive language. The Board members felt it was not needed. We agreed to remove the abuses and the breast shot as they in no way affected our storytelling.”
Aseem feels the Censor Board is a much-maligned entity. “In my experience, they are fair and just and doing their jobs to the best of their abilities.”