No item girls or phoren shoots: What to expect from the new shuddh BJP censor board
The Central Board of Film Certification has joined the elite league of institutions that includes DRDO and the Planning Commission of India, which have been given a thorough scrubbing by the Narendra Modi government and now look the way the PM and his entourage would like them to. In a transformation that we suspect is a covert tribute to Kajol-with-Lalu-wig turning into Kajol-for-shampoo-ads in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, the censor board has replaced everyone who resigned because they thought Messenger of God shouldn't be inflicted on humanity. Now the CBFC is made up of people connected by their deep admiration for Modi. Producer and director Pahlaj Nihalani is the new CBFC chief and is most famous for producing Aankhen in 1993, which made a star out of Govinda and gave the pre-internet youngsters ideas about how to spend time at home when fathers are away at the khet (a Marxist metaphor for the workplace) and mothers go to the bazaar. Later, he made a video titled 'Har Ghar Modi'.
Joining Nihalani as a board member is George Baker, from West Bengal, an actor whose most recent achievement was sitting on stage while Bappi Lahiri sang 'BJP we all love you'. He neither smirked, laughed nor left the stage, or BJP. Prior to that, he spent a lifetime being the imperiously goodlooking man who was in films no Bengali remembers. If and when he objects to scenes in Indian films being too graphic or sexual in nature, one should remind him what he did with Moon Moon Sen in Bow Barracks Forever.
Along with Baker, the CBFC has Dr Ramesh Patange, who is a journalist, writer, Dalit leader and member of the Samajik Samrasta Manch. The RSS lurves him, as is obvious from them quoting him on their Facebook page: "Dr Ramesh Patange of Samajik Samarasta Manch says " Why does the Hindu love his caste (jaati ) ? Because the jaati gives identity and security, both social and economic." Just why or how a Dalit leader believes in jaati, we don't know.
There's also Chandraprakash Dwivedi, best known for his portrayal of Chanakya in the teleserial based on the Mauryan philosopher who was the granddaddy of political wheeling and dealing. Dwivedi also directed the film Pinjar based on Amrita Pritam's novel on the Partition was widely-acclaimed.
Another new member is writer Mihir Bhuta, who goes by the handle @iamhindu on Twitter though we live in hope that this is not the only reason he was selected for the CBFC. We can only hope that he's as open-minded about films as he is about English spellings.
Mint reports, "The BJP members part of the CBFC include Tamil and Telugu movie actress Jeevitha; Bengali and Assamese film actor George Baker, who contested as a BJP candidate in the Lok Sabha election from Howrah constituency from West Bengal last year; Tamil actor S Ve Shekar and actress Vani Tripathi Tickoo, a former national secretary of the BJP, and Ramesh Patange, a Dalit writer close to the RSS."
Now that it is established that no matter what films the new censor board members like, they're all fans of the BJP, Bollywood should perhaps take note. Following are a few things - if the slew of protests over films, books, people anything to go by - that will never be cleared by the new CBFC.
1. Taking its cue from BJP's swadesi mantra, foreign locations will be frowned upon. So no waving your pallu at the Alps and no giving the Sphinx in Giza a crash course in Punjabi sangeet wardrobes. If you have to go soul searching and want to blow up a lot of money while doing it, you can't go trotting to Spain like Zoya Akhtar's heroes do in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. All that soul searching has to be done in the Mumbai traffic, in the rains in Kolkata, through the smog in Delhi or on a road trip across no-booze Kerala. Also, while NRI characters will be welcome, they must come home to India. NRI thieves (a la Dhoom: 3) must leave the Bank of Chicago alone and instead cast their gaze upon State Bank of India. The State Bank could do with some sexing up, we say. All such 'main foreign ki deewani hoon' scripts will be returned with a note: Make in India.
2. Bollywood has a penchant for making the Empire-strikes-back statements, like making good-looking white dancers gyrate to songs with lyrics like 'ain't nobody like my Desi Girl'. However, let us not forget that even without the VHP claiming it, there is no doubt that back up dancers are an Indian specialty. How else do you establish how desirable your hero/heroine is without a gaggle of men and women literally dancing to their tunes in the background? And why should anyone else benefit from our narcissism except ourselves? So the moment a Honey Singh song lands in CBFC with a bunch of white dancers writhing around the rapper, the CBFC may well throw it back with a note: 'Mere desh ki dharti, sona ugle, ugle heere moti (no rap intended).'
3. Given how deeply BJP believes in 'love jihad' and 'ghar wapsi', films like Veer Zara, Gadar, Zakhm or Bombay (where a Hindu boy marries a Muslim girl) will get a rousing thumbs up. But no, no Pakistanis marrying nice Delhi girls, okay? Every Delhi boy on Tinder, who gets one match on the dating app once in a non-murderously cold winter evening, will no doubt wholeheartedly agree with the CBFC. After all, if PK kicks off a trend of Indian women looking across the border for hot Pakistani love interests, at least North Indian men will have to place all hopes upon Splitsvilla. So, whenever a PK-like script falls into the laps of the CBFC, it will probably be sent back with a stern note that reads: "Bahu lao, par beti ko Pakistan mat bhagao".
4. Since the board is full of BJP fans, chances are that it will be particularly chuffed to see films that subscribe to the vision of the Hindu rashtra as imagined by people like Sakshi Maharaj who suggested all Hindu women should have four children at least. So, no single hero film will pass by them. Rajshri Pictures, on the other hand, should have no trouble getting its films passed since they always have at least two heroes, if not three. A family home should be as chaotic as Kumbh Mela with at least three brothers with a sister thrown in for variety, a la Hum Saath Saath Hai. But imagine what fun that would be! All films will start looking like Main-(Farah Khan)-Hoon-Na songs, where all of Bollywood, even if you're Dino Morea, is welcome. Also, our long awaited dream of the Khans doing a film together might just come true!
Updated Date: Jan 21, 2015 08:07:36 IST