The Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC), which is facing pressure from Hindu religious groups to chop certain "offensive scenes" from 'pk', has clarified that the I&B ministry is yet to intervene in the matter.
CBFC chairperson Leela Samson says the board is being unfairly targetted when the ministry should be controlling the situation. "Certification, and not censorship, is the job of the Censor Board. If a government official or workers of the ruling party wish to take a stand against a film, or against young people kissing or holding hands for that matter, they need to shout it out from the Centre and create Draconian policies. You cannot claim to have liberal views, while breaking the arm of anyone you disagree with."
She adds that the government has so far maintained a stoic silence on the issue. "The ministry has not taken up the issue with me or other officials of CBFC. However, they have often chosen to bypass me and speak to officials appointed by them indicating their 'concern' about a particular film," she adds.
Samson minces no words while criticising the government, alleging that the former I&B minister Prakash Javadekar never kept his promise of allowing the board to appoint for its panels professionals who are well informed about sensitive issues. "Panel members who view the films have a heavy dose of party people amongst them. We deal with bullies who give out 'A' certificates to films they don't fully appreciate.
How does a chairperson or the board control the situation or veer policy into a positive space for filmmakers if the film produced by them is subjected to corruption of every kind?" she questions.