Ka Bodyscapes censorship row: Pahlaj Nihalani, here's why the CBFC is wrong in denying certification
Dear Pahlaj Nihalani,
Enough is enough. You and your medieval sena in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) are taking this way too far. Stop. Stop your fight against our freedom to see, our freedom to understand, our freedom to be. It should not come as a surprise for you, that we as biological adults are capable of deciphering for ourselves what is good and what is bad for us to see. So stop belittling our intelligence. The fact that at 18, we are capable of deciding who should run our country proves that the Republic of India trusts our intelligence and our capabilities. So please, just please, stop overworking your brain a little too much.
Your recent victim — Ka Bodyscapes — was denied certification because you accused the makers of "glorifying the subject of gay and homosexual relationship". “Glorification”? What you call glorification is life for up to 10 percent of any population across the world, including India. I will tell you what is glorification — chopping off a head in Rangoon is glorification of violence, running on top of a train and dancing is glorification of a fantasy that claims many lives. And you awarded Rangoon a U/A certificate? I loved Rangoon. But do you think watching the story of a girl child being bought, a war being fought, a head being chopped off is what children should watch, (even) if accompanied by their parents? Why such a lacklustre attitude toward violence, but such an obsessive attitude towards sex and sexuality? And yes, in this DNA India article, you ranted that no one appreciates you when you are being liberal. That’s precisely what I am contesting — why are you selectively liberal with big banners? Why are you liberal where you should be strict and issue a film an A certificate instead of a U/A rating?
What is your problem with the women’s right movement? I am asking because your board called Lipstick Under My Burkha a “lady-oriented film”, and said it depicts “fantasies” that are “above life”. What is that supposed to mean? Are you going to ban Krissh 4, or hello, much to the displeasure of religious people — are you banning Mahabharata and Ramayana? They may be fact or fiction, that is debatable, but they are definitely “above life”. Why ban aka deny a certificate to Lipstick Under My Burkha? Do you know how important and empowering to a minority community, to a minority gender just the title of the film is? Do you even know the power of good cinema and the positive impact it can have in opening minds? O! how will you know. Your mind is closed.
Not just Lipstick Under My Burkha, you even screwed up the film that was adjudged the Best Picture by the Oscars. You deleted a pivotal scene that formed the crux of the film — a hand job between two male homosexual characters. What did you think you were doing when you were denying adults the chance to experience cinema about again two subalterns who have been despised by the society — an LGBTIQ person, a black person. Do you know what disservice you are doing to the entire film fraternity? I have more faith in cinema as a regular film goer than what you have as a chief of a film board. Shame on you.
Now coming back to Ka Bodyscapes, your team says that the film has “derogatory remarks against women; abusive language is used in most of the places and also a female Muslim character is shown masturbating”. Well, do I dig out films that have the word ch***ya that have been issued a U certificate? As for women masturbating — why shouldn’t they masturbate? Why should it be so much of an issue for you? And why do you think it is so offensive?
I have to tell you this without mincing words: You are a shameless, spineless, misogynistic, homophobic bigot in a country that has the tenets of equality, plurality and acceptance of different thoughts, religions, customs enshrined in our Constitution. And as someone who stands as a roadblock to the tenets of our Constitution, I call you the most abusive term of them all: anti-national.
You, Mr Nihalani, are an anti-national.
Watch the trailer of Ka Bodyscapes here: