Dissident censors to review all Bolly cuts

Fight against boss intensifies

By Sumi Sukanya
  • Published 26.05.15
A poster of NH10

New Delhi, May 25: Dissident censor board members plan to "review" all the cuts made to the 30-odd Bollywood films certified since January, alleging inconsistencies on the part of chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani whom they accuse of dictatorial functioning.

About half the 21 members of the Central Board of Film Certification support the never-before move and are preparing for a stormy board meeting on June 9, where they will demand the review.

"We want to compare which scenes and words were cut from which film and who headed the committees (that forced the deletions)," senior board member Ashoke Pandit told The Telegraph today.

"Nihalani is running a one-man show, certifying films directly or through his chosen people. We too should know what is happening."

Another member, Nandini Sardesai, said Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet was cleared with various "cuss words" the likes of which were removed from other films.

" Bombay Velvet came to a revising committee after the producers challenged the 'A' certificate recommended by the examining committee. The chairman himself headed the (revising) panel and awarded a 'U/A'," she said.

"I'm surprised how he allowed so many abuses in the film while regularly beeping out cuss words from other films, including NH 10."

Most board members are opposed to Nihalani, appointed by the Centre with nine other members early this year, and efforts are on to pass a resolution to oust him.

Board member Syed Abdul Bari, who doubles as vice-chancellor of the Central University of Gujarat, has demanded video-graphing of the June 9 meeting to ensure that any consensus that emerges is adhered to.

Pandit supported him, saying: "At the last board meeting, the list of 28 cuss words put out by the chairman was withdrawn but it is still being referred to in most cases. So whatever is decided at the next meeting should be on record."

Nihalani said the meeting's agenda was "being prepared at the moment".

"If members want to discuss the films that have been certified, I don't have any issues because I don't have anything to hide," he said. "I have been sticking to the Cinematograph Act guidelines."

HC relief

Delhi High Court today directed the censor board to allow a documentary on Kashmir's violence-affected people to be screened without cuts, PTI reported.

The censors had suggested cuts to Textures of Loss and ordered the insertion of a disclaimer, a decision upheld by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal. Both described certain scenes in the film as "powder kegs" that could lead to violence.

The high court said the threat of violence cannot overrule constitutional rights, and only gross violation of the Cinematograph Act could ground a film.