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Benegal clueless why new CBFC guidelines not being implemented

Thursday, Mar 23, 2017,11:59 IST By anju A A A

Mumbai | Filmmaker Shyam Benegal is clueless about the delay in implementation of the new guidelines for CBFC that his committee sent to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

Benegal headed a committee set up to take a relook at the functioning of the controversy-ridden censor board, chaired by Pahlaj Nihalani.

The panel looked holistically into the functioning of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and submitted its report to I&B Ministry last year.

On the status of the report, Benegal says, “I don’t have a crystal ball so I don’t know what’s happening in the minds of the government. Towards the end of last year I heard some murmurings that the report is acceptable to the government.

“I telephoned the ministry to check but they said nothing official has happened yet. That is the situation which exists today. I have no idea what is happening on that front,” he says.

The filmmaker feels if the government did not like the report, the authorities would have said it earlier.

However, he also says that delaying implementation of the guidelines so that people forget about the issue is “also a possibility.”

He was speaking at ‘Censorship Woes: Media & Entertainment’s Battle against Thousands Cuts’ session at the 18th edition of FICCI Frames last evening.

Asked about the ways through which the ministry can be approached to look into the guidelines immediately, Benegal says writing letters and approaching the ministers could help.

“The simplest thing would be to write letters.
Somewhere you have to communicate with the ministry and find out why the ministry is not taking any position on this report. You can write to any of the ministers…they are approachable, nobody seems to have attempted that,” he says.

The filmmaker says the board was deviating from it’s primary job of certifying films and instead, focusing on running the scissors on the content which they didn’t like.

“The job of the CBFC is to classify and certify the cinema for releasing, but not to instruct the filmmaker to make cuts.
They are not here to tell the filmmakers what to show and what not to in a film,” he says.