First time in his career, Sooraj Barjatya, the 'cleanest' filmmaker in the industry, is asked to take three cuts in his film, 'Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo'
The unbelievable has happened. The Censor Board recently suggested Sooraj Barjatya, possibly the cleanest filmmaker in Bollywood, to effect three cuts in his upcoming Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor-starrer, 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo'. The Board, we hear, took objection to the use of 'rakhail' (mistress) apart from two other scenes.
Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor in 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo'
The examining committee watched the film last week before suggesting the cuts, a source from the film's team informs, adding, "The makers decided to adhere to their suggestion."
The two scenes that have been censored includes a Ram-Leela sequence which had a couple of old, Hindi melodies playing in the background. "The scene plays out with the film's title track and was interspersed with two old songs in some portions. The Censor Board felt it was not suitable to accompany the Ram-Leela visuals. The other scene shows a person being hanged, but the examining committee wanted it to be a long shot. The makers have complied with all the suggestions," adds a source close to the project.
The censor trouble came as a shock to the film's unit, especially since Barjatya is at the helm. "He is known for making the cleanest family films. In fact, 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' has zero offensive content. This is the first time that such a thing has happened with Barjatya. This is truly shocking," adds the source.
Nandini Sardesai, member of the Board revising committee, denies knowledge of the development. "Every film has to go to the examining committee first and if the makers do not agree with its verdict, they approach the revising committee. But it has not come to us. The examining committee can't talk (about the issue) as people are not supposed to know who are part of that panel."
Mukesh Bhatt, producer
It is ridiculous and shows the regressive thought process of the Censor Board members. How can one even stop someone from using a word like rakhail (mistress) in a film? It is not acceptable.
Shyam Benegal, filmmaker
Rakhail is used in daily language. Some people have their subjective mindset and they implement such rules. I don’t know the context in which the word has been used, but one cannot remove the word if it fits a particular situation. However, I don’t think there is any rule restricting a filmmaker from using the word.
Subhash Kapoor, director
It is unacceptable. The Censor Board should keep pace with changing time. There have been instances when other filmmakers had issues with their decision. I think the film fraternity should try and have a dialogue with the Board to check the growing number of issues.
Milan Luthria, filmmaker
Throwing stones at each other won’t help. We must sit down and sort this out for once and for all. There should be simple, straightforward set of acceptable rules for us to follow. We can find a middle path; we are not irresponsible people.
Neeraj Ghyawan, director
Masaan, with an adult rating, was asked to remove words like ‘saala’ and ‘saali’. There’s nothing more to say about it.