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Conditional nod for 'Ka Bodyscapes' from the CBFC

Director told to remove scenes on RSS, Golwalkar, Hedgewar

September 20, 2017 08:46 pm | Updated September 21, 2017 08:10 am IST - Kochi

A scene from Ka Bodyscapes

A scene from Ka Bodyscapes

Rapped by the Kerala High Court, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has finally come around to certify the film Ka Bodyscapes as fit for public viewing by ‘adults’ on the condition that its visuals containing photos of RSS founding sarsanghchalak K.B. Hedgewar and ideologue M.S. Golwalkar are deleted along with references to the RSS and the saffron flag wherever they occur.

In a letter sent to the maker of the film Jayan Cherian, A. Prathibha, regional officer (Thiruvananthapuram) of the board, asked him to make ‘four excisions and a modification’.

Accordingly, the director should delete images of Golwalkar and Hedgewar along with references to the RSS, visuals of the saffron flag and the scene of a woman character masturbating, besides excising the ‘objectionable and disrespectful visual of a painting depicting Lord Hanuman carrying books in his hand (sic)” in order to earn an ‘adults only’ certificate.

“The blatant suggestion more than articulates the fact that the CBFC’s objections were driven by sheer shameful political considerations and not by anything else. I had approached the board to get the film cleared for public screening in April, 2016, and they made me run from pillar to post for over a year and a half,” said Mr. Cherian, who moved the High Court when the CBFC resorted to an outright ban on the film despite repeated viewing by its arbitrary committees.

Heckled and made to bleed financially, as he also produced the film, Mr. Cherian said the suggestion of cuts and modifications was agreeable to him, as he only wanted to be able to take the film to the public now. Right from the beginning, the CBFC had used all tricks up its sleeve to close the lid on the film, as it turns the camera on an unconventional homosexual love story in the backdrop of some anti-fascist protests by several rights groups, such as the ‘Kiss of Love’ movement and the protest against treating menstruation as impure, that Kerala witnessed in the recent past.

The Kerala High Court’s firm directive notwithstanding, in response to a contempt petition moved by Mr. Cherian, the board chairman stood stubborn and refused to clear the film on the grounds that its board members were divided over certifying the film.

It was, however, forced to fall in line and agree to grant certification, with a caveat, going by the opinion of the majority of board members, after the High Court sternly asked it to do so.

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