It is 2017 but the incorrigible narrow-mindedness of the country continues to disappoint creators and artists. The Censor Board is back at it again, this time refusing certification to a widely acclaimed film for being 'lady oriented'.
Alankrita Shrivastava’s second film, Lipstick Under My Burkha, has been rejected by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for containing 'contanious sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society'.
The winner of Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality, this film unfortunately failed to meet the CBFC's standards that preach what Indians can and cannot see. The interesting bit is that this film has been selected for several international film festivals but somehow may have a negative impact on the Indian audience.
The story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contanious sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society, hence film refused under guidelines 1(a), 2(vii), 2(ix), 2(x), 2(xi), 2(xii) and 3(i). (sic) - CBFC
Read the complete letter issued by the Board on January 25th as a sentence of refusal to certify the film.
Prakash Jha, who is currently in London, told the Mumbai Mirror,
As a country we must encourage freedom of expression but the CBFC refusing to certify films that tell uncomfortable stories discourages filmmakers from pushing the envelope. Films should challenge the status quo which is what Lipstick Under My Burkha perhaps does and I believe our audience deserve to watch it.
As the news spread, the Twitter verse is flooding with comments on the same.
Isske dealer ka beta pukka Harvard gaya, voh bhi full-fees pe pic.twitter.com/mRyb3TndP5— Rohan (@mojorojo) February 23, 2017
"Lipstick Under My Burkha",an award winning film directed by Alankrita Shrivastav refused a Certificate for these unfathomable reasons 👇 😠 pic.twitter.com/QZwi3yhTCn— Renuka Shahane (@renukash) February 23, 2017
And the fight continues. Prakash Jha and Alankrita are expected to take the fight over the certification of Lipstick Under My Burkha to the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) if needed. While we aren't really surprised, we still sit here with our hopes high up that they could change the minds behind the CBFC and bring the movie to us.