The eagerly-awaited super-hero film Deadpool, which has been banned in China for its excessive gore and sex, has miraculously escaped censorial wrath in India. It has been passed with an 'A' certificate.
But, hang in. Before you break into a joyous jig, here is the rider. Or rather, many riders. Most of the colourful language where characters refer to various unmentionable body parts and their functions in an abusive manner, are gone.
Fair enough. If we can't have abusive language in Hindi films, there can't be any in their Hollywood counterparts. But here's where the battle between Bollywood and Hollywood gets curious. Among various references to 'c.cks' and 'c.nts', the formal proper allusion to the female reproductive organ-and I am referring to the vagina-and the male testicle have also been deleted by the CBFC.
Now, I ask, what does one call a vagina and a testicle, if not a vagina and a testicle? And a play called Vagina Monologues has been regaling Mumbai and other metros for years now!
The deletion of other cuts, like a prolonged love-making sequence (which has been seriously reduced-seriously!), a performance at a striptease club (where the 'bare bodies' have been reduced in quantity), a head being blown off during a chase sequence, or a hand being chopped off are in my opinion, fine. We can live without those. And these cuts make no difference to the film.
But how do we explain the deletion of a shot showing a woman...errr...touching herself in a poster on the wall?
Does this mean women can't behave improperly even in images encrypted into the images in the script? It's like ordering men and women in rural Indian to not defecate while a train full of urban Indians speeds by.