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Censor Board refuses to revise Mardaani's A certificate

Even after Aditya Chopra allegedly spoke to officials, the board has reiterated A rating in keeping with current guidelines

Did non-implementation of the new Censor Board guidelines come in the way of Mardaani getting a U/A certificate? It appears to be so as the Rani Mukerji-starrer has gone on to become the first film under the Yash Raj Films banner to bag A certification. Says a source close to the banner, “After the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) told makers the film will get an A certificate, Aditya Chopra had a chat with some CBFC officials before the certificate was issued. He wanted to know why the film couldn’t get a U/A certificate since the subject is such that the film can be seen by children of the age of 12 years and above. But Chopra was told that it wouldn’t be possible as the theme was adult and that present guidelines did not have a category for 12 years and above.’’

Rani Mukerji in Mardaani
Rani Mukerji in Mardaani

The makers apparently tried to convince they would promote the film keeping the content in mind. Rafiq Gangjee of YRF says, “We told the Board that we would put ‘Not Recommended for Children below 12’ in all our publicity material and show it at the start of the film so as to ensure that parents are sufficiently informed. However, the Censor Board explained to us that this was not legally possible, so we have accepted their decision.’’

He adds that their request for a U/A certificate was not for just one scene or dialogue, which can be deleted or modified as required. “This request was put forth in keeping with the stipulation of the board. We want to help communicate the film’s message to those young girls who, in our opinion, are at an age where they need to be aware and be informed about this serious issue of human trafficking.’’

What the proposed guidelines entail
As per the proposed guidelines, films can be certified as being suitable for children of 12 years and above, and for people aged 15 years and above. This has been done keeping in mind the sensibilities of the viewers to different types of language, content and the extent of nudity and violence.

The retained categories will be 'A' or adult for viewers above 18 years of age, 'U' certificate for unrestricted exhibition that is suitable for children below 12 years, and 'S' certificate if the film is meant for restricted viewing by members of a particular profession, class or person.

Work at CBFC comes to a standstill

The certification work at the CBFC has come to a standstill after an agent and a panel member were arrested by the CBI and a house search of CEO Rakesh Kumar was conducted recently. A member from the board says, “There are only 28 panel members in Mumbai and we have a backlog of 40 feature films and 64 video films. There is no clarity when will the boards working will go back to normalcy.’’

The Mumbai region has apparently been flooded with films from Tamil Nadu and Kolkata as well. The source adds, “We also have films awaiting recertification for television. Each screening requires at least four panel members and one officer.

On an average about three to four screenings will have to take place everyday, which is not possible given our
present strength.’’

It may be pointed out that many films like Finding Fanny, Daawat-E-Ishq, Desi Kattey, Raja Natwarlal, Mary Kom and Creature are slated to release within the next month. As per the regulation, films’ have to be certified at least 21 days before the release. It remains to be seen if the current situation will affect these films’ release.

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