CBFC Chairperson Says No Messing Around With Religious Sentiments
Tony D’Souza still doesn’t know what hit him when he was whisked away earlier this week for hurting religious sentiments.
After 48 in custody in Jalandhar the producer and director of Blue,Boss and Azhar returned him to his wife and son in Mumbai.
“I still don’t know what happened. I was suddenly taken away. It took me a while to understand why I was being arrested. I wasn’t even aware of the objectionable scene.Right now I am just relieved to be home,” said Tony.
But his troubles are far from over. As he prepares to release the filmBahen Hogi Teri that caused such religious outrage, he also gets ready for a long expensive legal battle to prove he is not guilty of hurting anyone but himself.
“At the moment I am out on bail. And the less I speak the better it is,” said Tony with the wisdom that comes to the wounded.
Now for the scene that caused so much trouble for Tony. It showsRajkumar Rao dressed as Lord Shiva riding a two-wheeler. Apparently the Gods cannot be shown doing anything human.
Says CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani, “We found the scene showingRajkummar Rao dressed as Lord Shiva riding a two-wheeler to be objectionable. We knew it would cause trouble. We removed it before granting the film a censor certification. But the promos carried the scene and the damage was done,”
But didn’t Akshay Kumar as Lord Krishna in Umesh Shukla’s Oh My God ride on a mo’bike? And didn’t Raj Kumar Hirani’s PKfeature an actor made-up as Lord Shiva in a lengthy chase sequence?
Over to Pahlaj Nihalani, the chairperson of the Censor Board. “Both the films and scenes you mention were passed before my tenure as the CBFC’s chairperson started. There were lots of corrupt practises in earlier tenures that I don’t wish to discuss. But I’d say this in defence of Akshay Kumar’s scene in Oh My God: he was never dressed like a God. He dressed and behaved like a normal person although he played God.”
While I try to process the mindboggling logic behind the defence offered by the CBFC chief(could it mean this: Akshay Kumar is a star,Rajkummar Rao is not?) the CBFC boss says, “But I’d have never passed the scene in PK. We got a lot of complaints from many parts of India for that.We are very careful about not hurting religious sentiments.I am proud to say there have been no protest morchas by religious organizations in front of the CBFC office in recent times.In fact another film Mohalla Assi directed by Chandraprakash Diwediwhich has insulting remarks on Lord Shiva has been refused certification.”