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Censors clear Shanghai with U/A certificate

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MUMBAI: The Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has cleared Dibakar Banerjee‘s upcoming film Shanghai with a U/A certificate. However, the Board has effected one major cut: a scene where a local politician is shown being abused.

Earlier this week, the Mumbai unit of the Congress party had called for a ban on the song Bharat Mata Ki Jai saying that it hurts patriotic sentiments and degrades India. In a letter addressed to union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Ambika Soni, Mumbai Congress vice-president Charan Singh Sapra has contended that the content of the entire song is an insult to all countrymen who respect India as their motherland.

The song in mention contains controversial words like Sarkari Hathiyaar, Dhandha, Chanda, Dengue, Malaria, Gobar (cowdung), that Sapra alleged are deliberately used to defame the country.

Sapra had sought an immediate and total ban on the song from being broadcast/telecast in any manner, deleting it from the movie and to fix accountability and initiate action against the concerned censor board officials who cleared the offensive number.

In another development, the Delhi High Court dismissed a plea seeking stay on the release of the film by Tejinder Pal Singh Bagga, president of Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena who, through a PIL, had sought an interim stay on release of ‘Shanghai‘ until its song ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai‘ was deleted.

A division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajiv Shakdher remarked, "We do not find anything objectionable in the said song. In a democracy, every person has a right to voice his views and opinions... the same right to speech and expression cannot be curtailed except under some circumstances."

"The author of the song has merely sought to portray the existing state of affairs in India, once considered a golden bird... is now infested with diseases like dengue and malaria," the bench observed.

Based on the novel by Vassilis Vassilikos, Shanghai is a political thriller directed by D. Banerjee and stars Emraan Hashmi and Abhay Deol. The film is slated for release on 8 June.

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