CBFC chairperson Prasoon Joshi is apparently “extremely unhappy” about the censor certification of Dr Chandraprakash Diwedi’s Mohalla Assi, a film long banned by the CBFC for its potentially inflammatory statements and content pertaining to the Holy city of Varanasi
Apparently Joshi was vehemently opposed to the film being passed, as it makes lewd profane comments on the tourists who form a large part of Varanasi’s fluid population . There are are also snide comment on Gods and godliness.
A member of the CBFC on condition of anonymity reveals, “Most of us were completely against Mohalla Assi being passed. It makes very derogatory references to Varanasi and its people. Sunny Deolwho is puritan purehearted Jat and has never uttered a single abuse on screen in his entire career, is heard giving filthy gaalis in the film.And Saakshi Tanwar with her clean family image of the dutifulBahu in Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki, is here heard mouthing the most embarrassing profanities.We wonder what got into them to do such a film.And what will the Deol family’s izzat be when this film comes out?”
The source from the CBFC further reveals that the film is an “embarrassment” for the Modi government. “Mohalla Assi is set in the Prime Minister’s constituency. It shows the Holy City in the worst possible light.”
Apparently Prasoon Joshi and several members of the CBFC were opposed to passing the film. “But we had no choice in the matter. The honourable High Court Of Delhi ordered that Mohalla Assi be passed. The film’s producers then slapped a contempt of court on the CBFC for not passing the film. Prasoonji had no choice but to comply.”
This prominent members of the CBFC says the CBFC has now become redundant. “Any governmental or non-governmental organization can tell us what to do.”
The censor certificate for Mohalla Assi (enclosed) clearly states, “After examination of the film by the Honourable High Court Of Delhi at Delhi and on the recommendation of the said honorable High Court, the Board(CBFC) hereby certifies that the film fit for public exhibition restricted to Adults Only.”
In the film Sunny Deol plays a self-righteous priest fighting against the ecological and moral pollution of Varanasi. The film’s all-pervasive mood seems to have infected Deol. Never known to use even a single profanity in his entire career, Deol is heard calling himself a ‘chutiya’ and commenting on the rampant “guru-shishya kenaam pe pela peli”(screwing in the grab of teacher-pupil.) in Varanasi.
Worse still and potentially blasphemous are the references to Lord Shiva who is seen appearing in Sunny Deol’s dream and berating thebhakt, “Bhosri-ke, tu meri sunega ya logon ki?”
In fact the extremely abusive Hindi term “bhosri ke” is equated with the chant ‘Har Har Mahadev ‘ in the trailer. We hear veteran actorRajendra Gupta saying that the two go hand-in-hand in Varanasi.
The film is filled with abusive references to tourists . At one point when Ravi Kissan who plays a tourist guide brings a Caucasian paying guest home to Sakshi Tanwar, she refers to female tourists as “randiyan”(whores).In a scene a local woman tells Sakshi Tanwarhow female tourists complain, “Yahan bahot garmi hai “
Sakshi, “Kahan? Varanasi mein?
“Nahin donon tango ke beech mein(between the legs),” replies the woman.
This image of Varanasi as a tourist-challenged infiltration-weary city is unlikely go down well with the current government.
Incidentally the prime minister Mr Narendra Modi fought and won theLok Sabha elections from Varanasi.