Writer-director Hansal Mehta has accused censor board of discrimination, saying his film 'Shahid' was rated 'A' while big films like 'Ramleela' and 'Madras Cafe' were given U/A certificate despite having kissing and violent scenes.
Mehta, who made a return to filmmaking with the true-life inspired story after a gap of five years, had filed an RTI seeking information from the Central Board of Film Certification, about the rating given to these two films.
The director said he had nothing against the two releases but was not happy with the way his film was discriminated. "When 'Shahid' was shown to the examining committee they refused to even grant it an 'A' certificate, stating that I had to delete Shivaji Maharaj's name from a dialogue when there was nothing derogatory or incriminating in the line. "I had to appeal to the revising committee to retain the line and to get an 'A' certificate. I have reason to feel that my film was discriminated against and the CBFC is sympathetic towards 'big' films," Mehta tweeted.
The director claimed he will be filing many RTIs for the films certified by CBFC in 2013 to expose the board for "its double standards." "The CBFC cannot pretend to be liberal and strict based on criteria best known to them. My film's business was jeopardised because of CBFC..." he tweeted.
The director said a version of 'Shahid' sans the expletives is still waiting to be reviewed by "CBFC since nearly 3 months. Obviously somebody does not want it seen."
'Shahid', which released on October 18, 2013, is a biographical drama that narrates story of slain Human Rights activist and lawyer Shahid Azmi, starring Rajkumar Rao in lead. Mehta is the not the first director to lock horns with censor board. Director Anurag Kashyap has filed a petition in Bombay High Court against board for objecting to his refusal to carry the anti-smoking disclaimer in his film 'Ugly'.