Why The Censor Board’s Ban On ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ Is Bizarre

Posted by Sumit kumar in Culture-Vulture, Society
February 23, 2017

The infamous censor board is back in news again. This time because it has refused to clear a powerful women-centred movie – “Lipstick Under My Burkha”.

The reasons given are very bizarre and insane. None of the reasons given by Censor Board justifies the ban on the movie. As a movie buff, I hate how the Censor Board is taking away my freedom to decide what to watch and what not to watch. The ‘sanskari’ people manning the Censor Board should understand that this country runs by the rule of law and not by someone’s personal understanding of sanskar.

Unlike law, ‘sanskar’ has no uniformity. It varies from region to region and people to people. For several people, watching a movie is unacceptable. So, does that mean that the entire film fraternity should pack their bags and move to the Himalayas just because their work is not against a few people’s sanskar?

The only job of the Censor Board should be of certifying and rate movies on the basis of age. Forcing producers to delete scenes just because it does not ascribe to the value system of the censor board members is tyranny. It violates freedom of expression of the movie makers and also takes away freedom from people to view what they want. A movie should be a direct interaction between the cast and the audience. And in this form of interaction, there is no room for anybody else to decide what is morally right or wrong for the viewers and filter content.

India is a country where a person of 18 years of age is considered conscious enough to decide who will rule the country and at the age of 25, the person is conscious enough to become the ruler. In such a country, there should be no censure in the liberty of viewers to decide which movie to watch.

Movies are said to be the mirror of society. While, at times, people follow movies, movies too derive a lot from the society and people living in it. There are so many stereotypes in our society and movies are an excellent medium to break them.

Just a few days ago, a similar treatment was meted out to Akshay Kumar’s starrer “Jolly-LLB2” when the Bombay High Court ordered certain scenes to be removed from the movie since they maligned the image of the judiciary. I mean, really?

Tomorrow, if we subscribe to that logic, any chief minister can ask for a ban on the Anil Kapoor starrer movie “Nayak” since it ‘maligns the image of chief minister’. Is this how movies should be censored?

It is high time that the Government of India and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting implement the Shyam Bengal Committee Report on Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). The preamble starts with “We The People” and power should always remain with people. We, the people, will decide what to watch and what not to watch. The Censor Board has no authority over my unalienable right!

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