Pahlaj Nihalani has been forced to defend the CBFC’s decision to refuse a censor certificate to Ka Bodyscapes. The film was refused a censor certificate by the Thiruvananthapuram CBFC for showing Lord Hanuman in ‘poor light’ and for the homosexual relationship at its core.
“We, at CBFC, are not homophobic. We’ve passed films like Aligarh, Moonlight and Parched, which had homosexual themes. The reason for rejecting certification to this film is its highly inflammatory references to Hindu religion and mythology. Our guidelines clearly state that any derogatory reference to any religion is absolutely prohibited. So, let’s not even go there,” he told Deccan Chronicle.
Early this month, A Prathibha of the Thiruvananthapuram CBFC sent a letter to Ka Bodyscapes director Jayan Cherian, in which she refused to issue the film a censor certificate. Cherian even took to social media to express his anger over having a refusal certificate issued against his film, questioning the CBFC’s regressive views. The official order he shared on Facebook:
Ka Bodyscapes is about three young people in Calicut – Haris, a gay painter; Vishnu, a rural kabaddi player, and their friend Sia. The three struggle to find their own happiness in a conservative society.
Incidentally, Nihalani has been receiving flak ever since he ordered 89 cuts on Hindi film Udta Punjab last year, alleging that the film showed Punjab in poor light. Recently, he refused to give a censor certificate to Lipstick Under my Burkha. The film directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, starring Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur, follows four women as they search for a little freedom in their lives. He cited several reasons including the film being too “lady-oriented”, “women’s fantasies” and abusive language as reasons for denying the film its censor certificate.
Meanwhile when asked why he allowed a film like PK – that took jabs on various religions and hypocrisy in the country – the CBFC chief said that he was not a part of the CBFC then. “If it took digs at religion, then it shouldn’t have been allowed. We can’t allow filmmakers to create a law and order situation in the name of art. If there are riots and protests, are the makers of Ka Bodyscapes willing to take responsibility?” he said.
Feature Image: Indian Express