FILM ‘BABUMOSHAI BANDOOKBAAZ’ GOT ‘A’CERTIFICATE AFTER 48 CUTS :

‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’ is in the eye of a storm. In a fresh turn of events, the film was issued 48 cuts and an A certificate by the Pahlaj Nihalani led-CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) on Saturday. That’s not all. The film’s producer Kiran Shroff was allegedly humiliated by the examining committee members for the language and the storyline of the film that toplines Nawazuddin Siddiqui. While a female member questioned her how, as a woman, she could make a film with so many abuses, a male member remarked, “Inhone to pant shirt pehni hai. Yeh aurat thodi hi hain.” Reliving the horror, Kiran told BT, “They had an internal discussion for an hour after the screening. First, they told us that they were giving us an A certificate. Then they told us that there are 48 cuts. We argued that if the film is for adults, then why have so many cuts. They didn’t bother much, and continued to explain each cut and their logic behind it. In the middle of that, a lady officer turned to me and said, ‘Aap aurat hokar aisi filmein kaise bana sakti hain’. And before I could speak up, a man in the committee said, ‘But she is not a woman. Look at what she is wearing.’ I was dumbfounded. This is such a regressive thought. I was on the verge of saying that a lady officer in the committee is also wearing the same attire, so does that mean she too is not a woman? But I didn’t say a word because sadly, this is the kind of humiliation producers have to put up with. If they are judging me by my clothes, I can imagine the parameters they must have used to pass my film.” BT is in possession of the letter that states the cuts put forth by the committee. The film’s director has been asked to do away with abusive words like ‘C*******a’, ‘B*******e’ and a bunch of sentences that include words like ‘Khada’. They also asked to trim ‘humping’ scenes by 80 per cent, taking away from the film’s raw and realistic appeal.  A shocked director Kushan Nandy elaborates, “First and foremost, we don’t have humping scenes. They are love-making scenes. I am shocked and appalled with what has happened. If you notice the cuts, there’s a sentence, ‘Yeh kaahe ka c******a hai’. We use such sentences in our everyday life. The excuse given to us is that children also sneak into cinema halls to watch adult films. How is that my problem? Penalise the cinema halls for this, not the producers. The way they have dealt with our film is insulting. They humiliated Kiran which is unpardonable,” he says, adding, “I also met Pahlaj in private. He said, ‘You are lucky I’m not banning your film.’ When I argued that there are no grounds to do that, he retorted, ‘What are these abuses? Do you plan to make a dictionary of bad words?’ He even asked me to change lines like ‘Maa ka lehenga’ to ‘Maa ka anchal’. In short, the essence of what is being said is lost. He told me, ‘C*****a ko tutiya kar do.’ He is basically trying to teach us to make a film. And finally, he told me to remove the line that has ‘Khada’ in it. He said, ‘I will never let it pass because I am abused for my song ‘Khada Hai Khada Hai’ to this day.’ I’ll fight this till the end.”  The Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) has written to Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani to sack the committee members who made nasty remarks about Kiran. In the meantime, Kiran and Kushan have also reached out to FCAT (Film Certification Appellate Tribunal) for a revision in the cuts. The hearing is scheduled for tomorrow. “We’re hopeful about getting justice,” says Kiran. When we contacted Pahlaj, he said, “I don’t want to give my side of the story.” Meanwhile, Ashoke Pandit from the IFTDA says, “Many directors have joined hands against this. We condemn the lack of freedom of expression. The CBFC members cannot behave like this and get away with it. It’s attacking the dignity of a female producer. And this shows the kind of people Mr Nihalani has hired in the committees. It needs to be exposed.” The Times of  India : 2nd. Aug,17

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