Censor Board is not for moral policing: Sharmila Tagore

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New Delhi, Dec 30: Chairperson of the Central Board for Film Certification(CBFC) Sharmila Tagore, herself a successful actress of her times, feels that censorship should not be used for moral policing and preaching. Though some kind of check was necessary, care should be taken not to stiffle entertainment, she said. Ms Tagore expressed these views while speaking at a workshop organised for Members of the CBFC here.

She said Members of the Board while avoiding to be moral police, should, however, act with great care as they were responsible to the civil society. India is a multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-ethnic country, and majority of the people want some kind of censorship, and the Govenrnment has to take note of that, she said.

She said the Censor Board expected people to be more vigilant and bring to notice if any of the guidelines and policies were being violated in any case.A discussion on the 'Growth of Regional Cinema: Changing Parameters of Certification' with special reference to Bhojpuri films was also organised on the occasion, with senior Bopard members Dileep Cherian and Sanjeev Bhargava and film writer Lal Bahadur Ojha as speakers.

Responding to Members's concern and difficulties regarding the flood of documentaries videos, Mr Cherian said vested interest were now trying through documentaries to reach those audience whom they could not reach through films.

Picking up the thread from the moral policing coment of Ms Tagore made earlier, Mr Cherian said,'' we should not lost sight of the fact that today's young people were on to something which we might be missing.'' ''Moreover, we have to take note of the fact that some of tomorrow's generation were already producing content,'' he added.

Mr Bhargav said though self-censorship was the best, but since there were all kinds of people in the society, somekind of control by the Censor Board was necessary.

''Situation would become very chaotic, if this control was lifted.'' Talking of the vulgarity and obscenity in the Bhojpuri cinema, and producers' argument that this was what sells, he said it is the filmakers who have to create the taste. People would like good entertainment if it was available to them easily and at an affordable cost.

''We always underratee the audience thinking that he would not be able to appreciate aesthtical and artistic aspect of a work, but that is misperception,'' he said.

Film wrier Dhirendra Ojha said the Hindi or Bollywood cinema had given up the folk tradition and the gap was being filled by Bhojpuri films which cater to crores of people in Eastern UP, Bihar and Nepal, a region which is not recognised as the Bhojpuri speaking and passes off as Hindi speaking area.

''The Bombay film industry does not allow entry of others, which made Bhojpuri people feel that they should have their own cinema,'' he said.

According to Mr Ojha, the main cause of the vulgarity and titillations in the Bhojpuri cinema, especially the videos and music albums was that they catered to the migrant workers in Punjab and other areas.

Agreeing with him, Mr Bhargava and Regional officer, CBFC, West Bengal Abhay Srivastava said those workers living away from their families and at the end of the day they found a relief in the cheap entertainment provided by these videos which could be borrowed at Rs 10 a day.

He felt that there should be a set up for censoring of these films by the people of the region as they were in a better position to understand the nuances of the language.


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