In India, it does not matter to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) if a film has won accolades for its treatment of the subject. If the film is found too ‘hot’ to handle for the guardians viewing the film in their plush Mumbai office, it might not see the light of the day. On Friday, the censor board was left red-faced when the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) reversed the ban on Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s film Haraamkhor (yes, it’s the title).
But, wait. Besides the ban on it being lifted, the film got a clearance with a U/A certificate. In today’s age, when the U/A tag is looked with great respect, director Shlok Sharma deserves a bouquet with a congratulatory note. More than Sharma, it is the Indian cinema which has emerged victorious.
The outgoing year has not been a pleasant one for filmmakers. Beginning with Aligarh and the situation deteriorating with Udta Punjab, Censor Board under the tutelage of benevolent Pahlaj Nihalani has been at the crosshairs of filmmakers for the ‘moral responsibility’ of putting out good content to the viewers.
What is Haraamkhor and the fuss all about?
As far as Haraamkhor is concerned, the film deals with the relationship between an elderly teacher (Nawazuddin) and his student (Masaan actor Shweta Tripathi). Isn’t it a too bold subject for the censors to handle? And the title, Haraamkhor? Such a title is meant to berate someone, not to adorn the posters at a swanky multiplex which is meant for family viewing. Secondly, how dare you portray the relationship between a teacher and a student. When Bihar professor Matuknath and his ladylove Julie can have their faces blackened, Shlok Sharma should be ashamed of himself for scandalizing a holy relationship. Isn’t it what the censors were thinking? At least, this is what we think.
But now that the FCAT has cleared the film, producer Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga and Feroz Alameer surely would grin. And of course, Kashyap, for whom getting a film find its way to the cinema halls is no less an arduous task. As far as censor board is concerned, they would need to do a lot of self-introspection. It seems that a checklist of abusive words was not enough for the scissors to kill a project which they think might corrupt the society. Who knows, they might have secured an appointment with Super-Censor Raj Thackeray?
As of now, the filmmakers should relax and go to the nearest bar for a drink. Thank God! It’s a Friday. (not endorsing any brand)