Censor's axe on Ranbir's towel drop: Regressive?

MUMBAI: Ranbir Kapoor‘s towel dropping scene in the Saawariya song Jab se tere naina has been axed by the Censor Board. It is being argued that when Ranbir’s father, Rishi Kapoor made his debut in Bobby he too dropped his towel before an amused Aruna Irani.

The question worth asking though is - the scene was not cut then, so why axe a similar one almost three decades later? Is the Censor Board getting regressive?

Censor Board Film Certification (CBFC) RO Vinayak Azad says, "I think the issue is being blown out of proportion. It was a voluntary decision by the director Sanjay Leela Bhansali when we explained to him that the scene would not be appropriate for a U-certificate film. He opted to chop it."

Bhansali has placed on record that though in principle he is against any cuts he has agreed this time as the shot did not make any difference to the flow of the story. Had the scene been retained it would have resulted in the film getting an A-certificate.

A source who understands the process of certification says, "It‘s to do with the five people who watch a film at a given time. If they feel that a particular scene or dialogue is offensive then they make the necessary recommendations. If a similar scene was passed years ago I don‘t see why this was needed to be cut now? Also, as there are no set rules or policies regarding such objections, there is not much one can do."

Nudity-frontal or otherwise is not new to Indian films. The Supreme Court allowed a scene with frontal nudity in Bandit Queen. A few years later, in Split Wide Open Rahul Bose too dropped his pants under the direct gaze of the audiences.

Sure, both the films were passed with A-certificates. But does a fleeting peek at the derriere of an actor amount to obscenity in times of a Madonna or Mallika Sherawat? Are young audiences not accustomed to watching raunchy numbers from B-grade films?

"Being progressive does not mean exposing," argues Azad. "People have clichéd opinions of censorship issues. We are walking a tight rope and need to therefore do a balancing act without adversely affecting cinema. We are not into moral policing. Our job is to certify films and rate them in accordance to the audience they are targeted at. I can‘t comment on what transpired 34 years ago (when Rishi Kapoor dropped his towel). This is a grey area. Not something that is either right or wrong. Being liberal is being open to ideas and ideologies - not just allowing nudity and sex."

So whilst directors continue to remain subject to the mercy of the five members on the Censor Board panel, audiences may have to wait another three decades for a peek of a derriere. In the meantime, let’s continue to watch all those raunchy music videos.

Latest Reads
31st October: Genuine effort wasted

Rather late in the day, 31stOctober is a film about the Sikh genocide of 1984 in Delhi in the aftermath of assassination of the then prime minister of India Indira Gandhi. She was killed by her security guards, who happened to be Sikh. That assassination, again, is attributed to the anger of the...

Movies Hindi
TV premiere of Daniel Craig's 'Spectre' on 23 October

Movies Now is all geared up to air the television premiere of the Daniel Craig starrer James Bond movie Spectre. With Diwali round the corner, the movie will hit the TV screens on 23 October at 1 pm and a repeat telecast at 9 pm.

Movies Hollywood
Jio MAMI: Royal Stag Barrel joins Star to promote short films

The Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star has managed to involve Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films to provide a platform within the short films category.

Movies Hindi
India against obstructing Fawad film; Maharashtra assures 'protection'

Even as PEMRA's ban on Indian content looms, the Indian Government has made it clear that it will not create any impediment for the release of producer-director Karan Johar’s 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ starring popular Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, among others.

Movies Hindi
'Thithi' to open Dharmashala fest; to screen 45 features and shorts

A total of 45 features and shorts are to screened at the fifth Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) to be held from 3 to 6 November.

Movies Hindi
New films: The business of a few lakhs

The dull pre-Diwali period has taken its toll. The films released recently as well as last Friday have fallen like nine pins. Some of these have been forced to commit hara-kiri as they would not be able to get playtime at the cinemas in peak period when the flow of star cast films is regular. The...

Movies Hindi
Bollywood supports Govt's Pak policy; pleads for ongoing projects

NEW DELHI: The Film & Television Producers Guild of India Ltd today expressed “genuine concern of all those film producers who have invested heavily in films featuring artistes from across the border.” Even as it expressed unflinching support to the Central Government and solidarity with the...

Movies Hindi
MotuPatlu: King Of Kings (3D).......Kid stuff

MotuPatlu: King Of Kings (3D) is India’s own homebred animation film featuring characters of the popular Hindi comic strip of the same name that features in Lot Pot magazine.

Movies Hindi
Competitive short film fest to coincide with Risk Development meet

NEW DELHI: A short films competition on the theme of Risk Sensitive Development for Community Resilience will be organised at the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016 being held here.

Movies Short Films

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories