Political satire 'Zed Plus' cleared without any cuts

'Zed Plus' director refuses to 'sanitise' key words in political satire, eventually gets it cleared without any cuts or changes

While Hollywood is steadily embracing anti-establishment political themes in its projects, Bollywood seems to be playing it safe. This came to the fore yet again with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) ordering a few changes in Dr Chandra Prakash Dwivedi's political satire titled 'Zed Plus'. However, it was the director who had the last word.

Mona Singh and Adil Hussain in Zed Plus
Mona Singh and Adil Hussain in 'Zed Plus'

A source says the Board's examining committee took objection to the 'Pradhan Mantri murdabad' line in the film apart from the usage of certain terms — the committee asked Dwivedi to drop Pradhan from Pradhan Mantri and Bharat from Bharat sarkar. Earlier, the promos had been sent to the revising committee for approval, forcing the filmmaker to defer the release date by a week, say sources.

The filmmaker refused to accommodate the changes and approached the Board's revising committee. He feels the 'political affiliation' of certain CBFC members could have led to a disagreement over the scenes and dialogues. "Most of the members in the examining committee are political appointees and their reactions to the film are
guided by their affiliations," he alleges.

Dwivedi says he was also asked to drop Rajasthan's name from the film. The story is set in that state and the Peepal Wale Peer ki dargah that the 'Pradhan Mantri' visits to pray for his government from collapsing. "When the revising committee watched the film, four out of six members voted in my favour. I am grateful to them for giving my film a U/A certificate just in time," he says.

Nandini Sardesai of the revising committee says, "he examining committee misunderstood the film. It is a political satire and should not be taken literally. Many political satires made abroad take on the head of the state but no one objects to it."

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