The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Nihalani and his board members have been under fire after refusing to certify Prakash Jha’s next – Lipstick Under My Burkha. While denying certification to a film is normal and has taken place in the past, the main reason why this particular incident turned into a controversy is coz the certification to Prakash‘s film was denied since it was “lady oriented.”
The industry and the Twitterati were shocked after hearing this reason and started slamming Pahlaj once again (yes, this has happened in the past too). However, the CBFC chief is not affected by what people think. In fact, he defends himself again by mentioning how the board has actually been liberal towards films like Rangoon and Befikre, but no one sees that.
Vishal Bhardwaj’s Rangoon features several kisses including one where Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut make out on the beach. The CBFC (aka Censor Board) in India gave the film a UA rating, which means any child can watch the film as long as they’re accompanied by an adult.
In the UK, the same film has got an A12 rating, which simply means that children below the age of 12 cannot watch the film. In Singapore, that rating goes even harsher. The film was rated NC16 in that country, which means no children under 16 are allowed to see the film.
When asked to comment on the disparity in ratings, Pahlaj Nihalani revealed, “We are sneered at here for being sanskari and over-conservative. But we’ve been more liberal in the censor certification of films like Befikre, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Rangoon than many countries abroad.
But of course, no one notices when we’re liberal. Labelling us primitive and over-conservative is far more fashionable than discovering that we can be more liberal than the so-called first-world countries.”