The Shyam Benegal committee, which submitted its recommendations on the Central Board of Film Certification to the government, is still waiting for a formal, official update on the same. So far, none of the committee’s recommendations have been taken up for discussion, nor has it been asked to revise or change its report.
Speaking to MidDay, Benegal said, “I have no idea what happened to the detailed report that we had submitted. The first part was given to them in April and the next in October. But, we haven’t received an official or informal update. The I&B Ministry assured us that it would take the matter further in January. But, the communication was rather unclear.”
The Shyam Benegal committee was set up by the central government, under the leadership of the senior filmmaker. It comprises Kamal Haasan, Bhawana Somaaya, Nina Lath Gupta, MD of the NFDC, Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, Piyush Pandey, Goutam Ghose, and K Sanjay Murthy. Rajyavardhan Rathore, a Minister of State is also involved. Set up to analyse the functioning of the CBFC, and the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, the committee submitted a partial report in April 2016, and the final report in October 2016.
Among other recommendations, the committee said that the board must only recommend certifications – U, UA – UA+12, UA+15, A – and AC. Further, the committee had said that the board’s role must be to guide and ensure the rules of the cinematograph act are followed, and therefore recommended limiting the size and membership of the board.
However, Benegal said there has been no communication from the government since the final report was submitted, even though it was to be taken up as high priority. MidDay reports that the charge of I&B Ministry has moved from Arun Jaitley to Venkiah Naidu, and that could be one reason for the inaction.
Benegal continues to be optimistic, however. “When you do things for the Government, you have to be prepared that they will take time. On the brighter side, when the changes are brought to effect, they will remain the so for a long time to come.”