Indian govt unhappy with ban on obscene words in movies... (ACHE DIN AA NAHI RAHAY AA GAIEY)


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CBFC chief finds ‘haramzaada’, ‘Bombay’ objectionable, his team doesn’t agree


A list of objectionable or obscene words, phrases and expressions released by the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC), which seeks to ban them from movies, has triggered protests from some board members who said they were not consulted or informed. However, CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani said if some members were unhappy, it was “their problem” .

The list is part of a letter dated February 11 sent by Nihalani, the newly appointed CBFC chairperson, to the body’s regional offices. It was meant to be shared with the film producers’ association. It includes words such as “*******”, “haramzaada”, “saali” as well as other profanities and innuendos. Interestingly, the word “Bombay” is on the list. As news spread, a copy of the letter was circulated on social media, leading to backlash from the film industry.

CBFC board members Ashoke Pandit and Chandraprakash Dwivedi also spoke out. “It is a cause of concern for me, also as a filmmaker. I am not sure if the chairperson needs consent of the board. We will bring it up in the meeting scheduled for February 23,” Dwivedi said. Nihalani said he was only doing his job. “The Cinematograph Act, 1952 specifies that use of objectionable words should not be allowed and violence should not be propagated in cinema.

The previous board members and the CEO at CBFC ignored the guidelines until now. I decided to set that right,” he said. However, the Cinematograph Act, which dates back to 1952, has not been amended. Therefore, several words on the list — especially English profanities or the word “Bombay” — are not mentioned in it. But Nihalani said the list was drawn up by him and CBFC members who review films. “We prepared a list of obscene words that are commonly used. I included “Bombay” based on the Maharashtra government’s notification of change in the city’s name.” -

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