A day after it refused to clear Ashtar Syed’s revenge drama “Maatr” for release, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is in the news yet again.
It has asked the makers of Sunil Sippy’s slice of life drama “Noor” starring Sonakshi Sinha to make several audio cuts.
They’ve asked the makers of Noor to remove two words from the film – ‘Dalit’ and ‘Sex toy’. Now one can understand as to why the board members had a problem with the word ‘sex toy’ but how is ‘Dalit’ an objectionable term?
And if all this wasn’t enough, Pahlaj Nihalani led CBFC has instructed the makers to replace the word ‘sex toy’ with ‘adult site’. And how are these two related?
A source close to the development told a popular daily, “The word ‘Dalit’ has therefore been muted from ‘Noor’ wherever it occurs.” Their explanation for this move is that references to the community will invoke reference to the caste system that is prevalent in India.
Another source added, “Weirdly, the Board wants ‘sex toy’ to be replaced by ‘adult site’.”
The CBFC asked the makers to omit a reference to journalist Barkha Dutt or beep out her last name in the film. Their argument for the same was that referring to real-life characters without their consent is not permissible.
They added that they gave the makers the option of either obtaining permission from Dutt or beeping out the reference.
However, Dutta found the CBFC’s demand bizarre.
“Noor”, that’s Sonakshi Sinha, aspires to be like Barkha and looks up to her. They cut the ‘Dutt’ so as not to refer to a living person. We are okay with that. Barkha is as iconic for any female journalist as Lata Mangeshkar is to a female singer or Sachin Tendulkar is to any cricketer.
When contacted, Barkha Dutt wanted to know in which context her name was used and removed. When told ,she found the whole thing “quite bizarre.”
I haven’t seen the film but from what I understand the two references to me are very complimentary and in the context of a young woman who aspires to be a journalist. So really, I am unable to understand what part of this lends itself to censorship. Seems rather bizarre for the censor board to decide for the filmmakers or for me since I am a public person after all, and this reference hardly seems anything the censor board should have a view on. Rather whimsical I think to now make my name a subject of censorship!
The veteran journalist also tweeted about it:
“Noor” stars Sonakshi Sinha, Karan Gill, Purab Kohli and Shibani Dandekar. It is produced by Bhushan and Krishan Kumar’s T-Series Films. It is slated to release on 21 April.