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Bollywood filmmakers hold meeting with I&B ministry over censorship

Filmmakers raise various issues related to censorship in a meeting with I&B ministers, assured of regular industry-ministry interface

Noted filmmakers met senior officers of the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing controversy over the Censor Board's attempt to ban certain Hindi and English cuss words in films.

Clockwise from left: Anurag Kashyap, Mukesh Bhatt, Karan Johar and Vishal Bhardwaj were part of the meeting
Clockwise from left: Anurag Kashyap, Karan Johar, Mukesh Bhatt and Vishal Bhardwaj were part of the meeting

In a letter to the regional officers two weeks ago, board chief Pahlaj Nihalani had ordered them not to issue certificates to films which use the 28 specified expletives. The order, however, was put on hold after board members alleged they had not been consulted and that the list had to be approved by the ministry.

A panel comprising Anurag Kashyap, Karan Johar, Vishal Bhardwaj and Mukesh Bhatt  met minister of state for I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore. A range of issues, right from creation of a single window clearance system to apprehension about moral policing and doing away with the 'no-smoking' disclaimer, were deliberated upon.

The ministry has decided to hold a meeting with industry members every three months for smooth functioning of the Censor Board. Veteran actor and BJP MP Vinod Khanna, and state urban development minister Babul Supriyo were also part of  the meeting.

Kashyap tweeted, "Super meeting with the ministry & super initiative of the Govt to develop an interface directly with working professionals of Film industry. Talked about everything from a ratings board to self regulation and left with a lot of hope and positivity (sic)."

Kulmeet Makkar, CEO of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India, says: "We discussed how critical issues such as smoking can be addressed more effectively and aesthetically replacing the current disclaimers."

A source says it was agreed upon that big stars would shoot for no-smoking disclaimers which can be played before the screening of a film and post interval.

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