The release of Prakash Jha’s production Lipstick Under My Burkha that has of late sparked off a war between freedom of expression and censoring of films has now taken a new turn with the makers planning to approach Film Appellate Tribunal for its certification. Pahlaj Nihalani, the chief of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), continues to retain his stand of not certifying the film and claimed that he has the responsibility of ‘preserving Indian culture’. Slamming the statement is the producer Prakash Jha, who has now decided to go ahead with his desire to release the film despite the hurdles.
For the uninitiated, Lipstick Under My Burkha, which has received critical acclaim at several international film festivals, has been facing the wrath of CBFC who refused to certify the film under the grounds of ‘lady oriented fantasies’ (women’s sexual fantasies) and owing to the explicit, abusive content and audio pornography. While the film has been receiving support from a major section of its film community and has also has ignited a debate on social media over women empowerment, Pahlaj Nihalani has denied to take all of this into consideration.
Claiming that he won’t abide to what people are saying on social media and other platforms, Pahlaj further went on to state that being a part of the government it is their duty to not just certify films but also preserve the traditions of Indian culture. Miffed by the comment, Jha slammed his statement questioning the right of Chairman of CBFC to advocate Indian culture. He also asked if the ones are supporting the film are uncultured? Describing the CBFC Chairperson as an autocrat, Prakash Jha continued to question the CBFC’s decision to grant certification to sex-comedies like Kya Kool Hai Hum, Mastizaade and Great Grand Masti when they are about male fantasies and objectification of women.
Prakash Jha also believes that giving his film an ‘A’ or ‘U/A’ or any kind of certification could have been justified but refusing the film altogether is unfair.
Starring Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, Sushant Singh and Vikrant Massey among others, Lipstick Under My Burkha is directed by Alankrita Shrivastava.