Abolish the scissors, urges filmmaker

Noted filmmaker and director of films like Rang De Basanti and Bhaag Milkha Baag, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, on Monday said he was confident that no films would reach the courts on the issue of censorship if the Benegal panel’s suggestions were implemented.

Mr. Mehra is a member of a panel, headed by filmmaker Shyam Benegal, tasked with revamping the Central Board for Film Certification —more popularly known as the censor board.

Mr. Mehra was speaking to a live audience during an online chat on The Hindu’s website , discussing the Udta Punjab row and the issue of censorship. The Bombay High Court on Monday cleared the film for screening with one cut and a revision of the disclaimer.

Panel’s suggestions

“I am confident that nothing will reach the courts if the suggestions are implemented. Sweeping changes in the way we appoint the examining committee, the receiving committee and finally the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal,” he said when asked about suggestions made by the Benegal panel. Saying that he believed only in certification and not censorship, Mr. Mehra said, “Our job was to review and suggest course correction. I strongly believe, and that is what we have also suggested, that we have to abolish the scissors.”

On the ‘adult with caution’ rating, Mr Mehra said it was an important category and “a disincentive for excesses. If a filmmaker does not agree with a certification, she/he can revert to the revising committee. The big change to bring about is that we are not subjected to individual morality, but a set of directives,” he said.

When asked about the court’s observation on self-introspection, Mr. Mehra said it was the only way forward. “That’s the only way it will work. We can't have our cake and eat it too. Self-introspection or self-censorship is a healthy way forward.”

Click >here for the full text of the live chat.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 1:51:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/Abolish-the-scissors-urges-filmmaker/article14420453.ece

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