“If A  Film About Erectile Dysfunction Can  Get A “UA” Why Can’t My Film Get A  ‘UA’ Onir Rages Against The Censorboard

Onir is convinced that the promised change at the censorboard is no more than an eyewash. The National award winning  filmmaker’s latest work Shab which was submitted to the CBFC with voluntary cuts for television broadcast, was refused the ‘UA’ certification needed for the film to be aired on the home medium

Onir is in a  state  of shock. “It is very disheartening. Considering  my film My brother Nikhil about  homosexuality and  AIDS, and I Am  which had far more explicit sexual situations than  Shab, are currently regularly screened on the Star network it is a very scary situation to be in.And besides   I just introduced the Oscar-winning film gay film Moonlight to be telecast on a prime channel. When  Moonlight with its theme of homosexuality got on the home medium why not Shab? If this is  not dual standards, what is?!”

Onir further adds, “The CBFC thinks home viewers can’t see the heroine (Raveena Tandon) having an extra-marital affair. But  extra-marital affairs are the universal theme of soaps!Neither does the film glorify homosexuality as stated by the  CBFC, nor does it glorify extra-martial affairs …. So they got it all wrong.The message of the film is progressive .People make mistakes and these people repent and become better humans . The film propagates acceptance.”

Onir says he was open to  making further cuts to obtain the UA certificate. “This came as a shock to me.I was open to more cuts. But the CBFC is no longer open  to debates or discussion.There is nothing regressive or sleazy in the film as compared to many more ‘UA’ films passing off regressive messages as entertainment. If  the CFBC can give a  ‘UA’ to a film about erectile dysfunction(Shubh Mangal Savdhaan) why not  Shab?”

Onir feels the CBFC is regressing. “In my  film I AM  there were situations of forced oral sex, child abuse and single  motherhood. I  was asked to modify and cut. But I  was given a fair deal.We’re definitely regressing. In 2005 my film on homosexuality and AIDS My Brother Nikhil was given a ‘U’. In  2011 I AM with its forthright sexual content  got a ‘UA’. Now  in 2017 a film which touches on  homosexuality and  extra-marital relationships is denied a ‘UA’. I can’t show it on  television. Home viewers are likely to get corrupted.Let’s all sit and watch Bigg Boss with its crude altercations.”

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