Indian film censors and oliticians

28th May

Politics of Censorship...

Indian film proves controversial over resemblance to Sonia Gandhi's life

Uncertainty loomed over the release of Prakash Jha's political drama Rajneeti with the Censor Board having objections to certain scenes which are said to be about Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.

The film has been in the midst of controversies with reports that Katrina Kaif's character has some resemblance to Gandhi's life.

Jha, however, has been insisting that his film has nothing to do with real life politics or politicians.

I have just made a film about an election. It is not about Bihar or Sonia Gandhi or the Congress, so I don't understand the whole controversy, said the filmmaker.

Asked if the Censor Board has taken any decision on issuing a certificate, its Regional Officer Vinayak Azad told PTI: Actually the movie is not with us. It is with the Film Certification Tribunal so they are to take a decision on it.


2nd June

Update: Dodgy Film Censors...

Indian politicians make for very easily offended film censors

While the Prakash Jha film Rajneeti has generated a lot of political heat for its alleged depiction of Congress President Sonia Gandhi's life, Congress leaders, in their capacity as members of the Censor Board, said they found nothing objectionable about the Nehru-Gandhi family in the film. Thy were objecting to the denigration of the political class across the board.

Congress leaders Tom Vadakkan and Pankaj Sharma were part of the six-member Revising Committee of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for which the film had been screened at Liberty in Mumbai last week. The committee raised many objections and wanted to give an adults only A cerifictate.

Prakash Jha appealed to the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal. In its order dated May 25, the Tribunal overruled the Revising Committee's decision and granted UA certificate to the film, which is scheduled to be released on June 4.

The fcensors of the Revising Committee had the following objections:

  • They wanted to reduce love-making scenes. Prakash Jha told The Sunday Express that he had voluntarily agreed to cut the length of such scenes from 37 seconds to 18 seconds. Later he said that he wood restore the footage for the DVD release.
  • The committee wanted to delete various dialogue used to reference the to represent Muslim/ Hindu communities; the Tribunal did not find these in violation of the guidelines.
  • The Congress members also objected to a scene where an expert is shown speaking on a news channel on how electronic voting machines (EVMs) could be tampered with.
  • Sources said that Congress members had also objected to the suggestive manners of a woman ticket-seeker who comes to meet a politician. Besides, there is another scene involving two men, which, Congress leaders felt, suggested homosexuality.


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