The Censor Tamasha: Dirty Picture Throws Open A Pandora’s Box

The Dirty Picture
MUMBAI: The last-minute cancellation of the telecast of Milan Luthria’s The Dirty Picture on Sunday afternoon has thrown open a heated discussion within the Censor Board Of Film Certification(CBFC) as to the validity  and the need to screen film with ‘Adults Only’ certification on television.

Thanks to the uproar over the intended telecast of  The Dirty Picture the censorboard has now decided to re-consider the entire procedure of re-censoring films with an ‘A’ certificate and thereby declaring ‘Adult’ films to be fit for the home-viewing medium.

Says a source from the censorboard, “The experience with the Dirty Picture’s deferred telecast proves that simply ordering extra cuts in an ‘Adults’ film is not enough when the very theme is adult.Those members of the censorboard who had viewed  Dirty Picture to certify it for satellite and television screening ordered 52 cuts . But those 52 cuts amounted to no more than 7 minutes  of additional cuts.On Thursday when the Information & Broadcasting ministry reacted to legal proceedings in UP courts against the scheduled telecast of Dirty Picture on Sunday afternoon at a time when optimum kids and youngsters were glued to the IPL matches, two senior members of  the censorboard re-viewed the film and found that the content needed further toning down before telecast.”

However at this late stage the film’s producers Balajee refused to comply.

Censor certificate for telecast in hand , Sony Entertainment confidently marched towards a  massive eyeball-grabbing telecast on Sunday afternoon and evening.

Apparently the telecast was stopped minutes before the schedule playing time at 12 noon on the direct intervention of the I & B Ministry.

And now highly-placed sources in the censorboard tell us that the whole Dirty Picture experience would compel the CBFC to revise its policy regarding ‘Adult’ feature films.

A source from the censorboard tells us, “Simply re-viewing and re-censoring the film for television is not enough .Adult content remains adult no matter how many cuts are ordered.Following the public outcry and court case against the telecast of The Dirty Picture and  the I& B direct intervention in the matter we’re seriously thinking of not re-censoring ‘A’ films to allow telecast on television.”

Pankaja Thakur the CEO of the CBFC admits a change in policy regarding the revised certification of ‘Adult’ films for telecast,is on the anvil.

“The chairperson of the CBFC has taken note of the matter and plans to take up this issue for discussion in the next board meeting,” informs Thakur.

Ms Thakur further adds, “Whatever is shown on television, whether it’s a film, serial or an ad,has to censored as per the programme code of the Cable Television Network Regulation Act.As per the code films that have a ‘UA’ rating can be shown on television. Hence ‘A’ rated films are submitted to the CBFC for granting such cuts and deletions that would make the film eligible for a ‘UA’ rating.Some films have adult themes and the treatment and public perception is such that even  after substantial cuts the film still retains an adult flavour.”

She ends by declaring that a change in policy regarding the censorship of ‘Adult’ films for telecast, is around the corner.  “In view of  the court cases and the programme code that has to be followed by all tv programmes including feature films, CBFC would be forced to look at the whole process of cutting adult films to make it palatable for young viewing.”