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 Ranbirs father,
Rishi Kapoor made his debut in Bobby
he too dropped his towel before an amused Aruna
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."
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
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."
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.
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
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."
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, lets continue to watch all those
raunchy music videos.