'Dedh Ishqiya' defies censor's rule

Within a week of its release, 'Dedh Ishqiya' runs into trouble with the Censor Board

When Dedh Ishqiya was cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification, the board had instructed the makers to blur out a scene where actor Arshad Warsi visits a brothel.

Huma Qureshi and Arshad Warsi in 'Dedh Ishqiya'
Huma Qureshi and Arshad Warsi in 'Dedh Ishqiya'

But when one of the members of the board watched the film at a screening on Saturday, it was observed that the scene had not been cut. Says a source, “After one of our members informed the board, the assistant regional officer was sent to watch the film. This time, even the producers of the film were called to the theatre.”

It seems that the producers initially blamed the cinema hall’s faulty lighting, only to agree later that it was their fault. They have now agreed to delete the scene in subsequent screenings. Adds another member of the board who was asked to watch the film after the scene’s deletion, “We know that the scene has been removed from screenings across Mumbai but we still have to ensure that other centres follow suit.”

When contacted, CBFC CEO Rakesh Kumar said that they have issued a showcause notice to the filmmakers seeking an explanation for not following the board’s directive. “They have accepted their fault claiming that it happened due to a technical hitch. Within the next 24 to 48 hours, they will delete the scenes from the film in cinema halls across the country.” Meanwhile, producer Raman Maru of Shemaroo clarifies that the error is being rectified. “This 20-second film wasn’t blurred out in some theatres due to bad lighting, but that problem is now being checked,” he says.

The film, that released last week, stars Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Madhuri Dixit and Huma Qureshi in lead roles. Acoording to sources, previous instances of films that have defied CBFC cuts include Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, where a lovemaking scene — that was deleted by the Board — was retained in some prints shown in south India. Similarly, an item song from the film Mumbai Mirror was asked to be deleted and yet it made its way to cinema halls.

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