B-Town supports 'Lipstick Under My Burkha': Watching film is a voluntary act

| Updated: Feb 25, 2017 11:42 IST

Mumbai [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): Bollywood, once again came together to voice their support for Prakash Jha's upcoming film 'Lipstick Under My Burkha,' which has been denied clearance by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), for its sexual scenes, abusive words and audio pornography. Filmmaker Kabir Khan, while speaking against this step taken by the CBFC, said that watching film is a voluntary act, adding that a handful people can never decide on what a society should watch. "It is a strange situation and the problem is- it is happening time and again. Watching film is a voluntary act- people go, buy tickets and watch it. It is not force fed. If you don't want to watch the movie, don't go. But it is ridiculous, that one a handful of people are deciding on what a society should see or not." Adding, "We call India a global power. Does a global power behave in such a manner? Is our society so fragile that it can be shattered by a film? I think, it's high time that people from film industry should stand up and shout for their rights," he told media here. When quizzed, whether he will stand the makers of 'Lipstick Under My Burkha' in this fight against CBFC, Kabir said, "I think everyone in the industry with support the film. Till now, no such discussion has been done for an organised effort. But if needed, I will surely be a part of the organised effort." Alia Bhatt too came in support of the Konkona Sen Sharma and Ratna Pathak Shah starrer-flick and said, "I definitely feel freedom of expression through your films and creative medium is something that we all have the right to." Vivek Oberoi, when asked on the same, said censorship should be a guideline, not a forceful act, in a matured democracy. "Censorship should be a guideline in a matured democracy, like India, where we portray ourselves as balanced and tolerant people before a global platform. People should be allowed to make what they want to communicate, as long as it does not hurt anybody's sentiment or provoke any antinational feelings," he said. Ssumier Pasricha, who created viral videos, in which he plays the character of 'Pammi Aunty,' said, "It's just curbing the freedom of speech. Film and entertainment sections are such sections, where voice can't be suppressed. Our country should be progressive." According to censor board, the Alankrita Shrivastava directed film was not given certification for its sexual scenes, abusive words and audio pornography. The notice of CBFC stated, "The story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contentious sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society, hence film refused under guidelines." Lashing out at the CBFC, producer Prakash Jha told ANI earlier that the board has certain people, "who have their own thought process and they interpret the guidelines differently." He even stated that the movie is about a section of women, who can never speak up their mind. "I believe my film is a beautiful story about a section of women, who feel these things but never speak up. The movie, ' Lipstick Under My Burkha', states how suffocated their lives are and how suffocated their dreams become. It is not about Burkha, rather it's a story about Ratna Pathak Shah and Ahana, who are Hindu by religion." Showing her disappointment over the decision, director Alankrita too told ANI, "It makes me feel we live in a society where there is no freedom of expression," adding, "In a country where there is so much violence &discrimination against women, should we not encourage such films?" However, justifying the decision about the certification of 'Lipstick Under My Burkha,' CBFC member Mamta Kale told ANI that the content of the movie is the core issue. "The kind of content and the abusive language they have put in the movie is unacceptable and they should not have done this. Any movie that comes to CBFC, the board sees it really critically. The whole team sits together and analyses the movie and then a decision is taken," Kale said. The movie's trailer, unveiled in 2016, was appreciated for its content that speaks about the secret lives of four women of different ages, who are in search of different kinds of freedom. 'Lipstick Under My Burkha,' won the Spirit of Asia Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality at the Mumbai Film Festival. It was also screened in Glasgow yesterday. On a related note, this is not the first time that CBFC has refused to certify a film. In the recent past, Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer 'Haraamkhor' was refused certification, for depicting an illicit relationship between a school teacher and his teenage student. (ANI)
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