'Censor board needs to be scrapped', says 'Pushkar Puran' director, Kamal Swaroop

Here's why the makers of Pushkar Puran are miffed with the Central Board of Film Certification

You probably haven’t heard of director Kamal Swaroop’s film, Pushkar Puran, yet. That’s because it is stuck for certification, a fate that seems to be shared by way too many films in the country currently. Kamal and his son, Kashyap Swaroop — who is also the executive producer of the film — are currently engaged in an uphill battle with the Censor Board to sort things out. The result? A whole lot of frustration.

Executive Preducer Kashyap took to Twitter to outrage against the ‘rules’ which proved to be a roadblock for his movie Pushkar Puran. The film is set against the backdrop of Pushkar cattle fair, an annual celebration held in Pushkar, Rajasthan around November. It is one of India’s largest camel, horse and cattle fairs, and attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world.

A still from Pushkar Puran

A still from Pushkar Puran

While speaking about the inspiration behind the movie, Kamal Swaroop told InUth:

It is based on the texts from Ka, by Roberto Calasso, the first and second chapters based on Ashwamedh and Brahma’s fifth head. We tried to capture a re-envisioning of the myths in the Pushkar fair.”

Also read: Why the makers of ‘Mohalla Assi’ have filed a petition against CBFC chief, Prasoon Joshi

However, the film’s release is now under threat, since the CBFC hasn’t yet certified it. Raging on Twitter, Kashyap Swaroop wrote:

Also read: S Durga denied CBFC certification, 5 films we wish the censor board had paid this much attention to

Censorship received flak when Pahlaj Nihalani was chief and routinely chopped off scenes from movies for the weirdest reasons, and refused to certify films that did not adhere to his idea of sanskaar. After Nihalani was sacked and Prasoon Joshi took over, it was expected that things would change for the better.

However, director Kamal Swaroop said things seem to be the same as before and that the board has started ‘moral policing’. Kamal said:

They’ve become more vigilant and suspicious. More than the certification body, it has become a moral and cultural vigilance department, enforcing the orthodoxy of the present governance. The censor board needs to be scrapped.”

A still from Pushkar Puran

Kamal Swaroop also brought to light a similar incident related to a documentary titled Many Months in Mirya, directed by Renu Savant. The certification of this four-hour long documentary is stuck with the board, and the committee wants nine cuts in the film. Swaroop said:

Deleting words like “Bombay” and Bambai”, putting caption of “the film is work of fiction and all characters, name, incident are imaginary” for a documentary, is problematic.”

The Swaroops’ previous documentary, Battle for Banaras, which is about PM Modi and Arvind Kejriwal’s electoral campaign in the city, has been stuck since 2014.

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