Outrage over Censor Board muting 'Bombay' in song

150119 - Censor Board   | Photo Credit: keshav

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has sparked outrage after it beeped out the word “Bombay”,the former name of Mumbai, from an English song before clearing it for release on television channels.

Musician Mihir Joshi, who released an album called ‘Mumbai Blues’ last year, was shocked to find that when his song titled ‘Sorry’ was aired on television channels a few days ago it had the word “Bombay” muted. ‘Sorry,’ which reflects on the 2012 Delhi gangrape case, is written in the form of an apology from a father to his daughter for the world he is giving her, one where crimes against women are rampant.

Terming the Censor Board decision “insane” and “wrong,” Mr. Joshi expressed disappointment. He said his song did not contain anything controversial or demeaning about the City. The word "Bombay” featured in the second line of the song and was preferred as it rhymed with the words “today” and “say,” according to Mr. Joshi. “The word was just incidental and not the main message of the song. I used the word because it fit in the lyrics,” Mr. Joshi said.

'Right' decision, says Nihalani

Even as he pointed out that the cut was made on December 5, 2014 under the previous Leela Samson regime—under the‘Examining Committee’ comprising Neelima S Naik and Deepak Ramakant Tandel-- Censor Board Chairman Pahlaj Nihalani supported the move. He called it the “right” decision.

“There is a government notification on this. Given the past controversy over the use of Bombay in films, this was avoidable. There are some elements who make deliberate attempts to create controversy by using Bombay keeping in mind future prospects,” Mr. Nihalani told The Hindu.

Mr. Joshi, however, defended his case saying his song did not contain anything offensive and was about highlighting the injustice to women. 'I’ve never had a problem with Mumbai or Bombay. I love Mumbai and loved Bombay. I just feel that what happened here is not right,” he said.

Immediately after Mr. Joshi put up his case, social media went berserk with strong condemnation of the Censor Board. The Congress and the BJP leaders also took potshots at each other over the censor.

Trending on Twitter

The hashtag “Bombay” was trending on Twitter even as Twiterrati used words such as “mindless,” "idotic," “unacceptable” and “illegal” for the Censor Board’s decision. Bombay was renamed Mumbai during the rule of the Shiv Sena-BJP in 1995 and over the past years the use of the word Bombay has triggered controversy on several occasions.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 7:53:51 PM |

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