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Acclaimed filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj on Friday said the censor board’s refusal to certify “Lipstick Under My Burkha” could be due to a “misunderstanding”.
“I don’t know about it… They can go to Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) or court for redressal. Lady-oriented film toh yeh bhi hai (Even ‘Rangoon’ is a ‘lady-oriented’ film). I don’t think any government body can say it’s a lady-oriented film, so there is a misunderstanding or miscommunication,” Bhardwaj told the media here at a special screening of “Rangoon”.
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has refused to certify “Lipstick Under My Burkha” for its sexual references and use of abusive words, among other reasons. The film, starring Konkona Sen Sharma and Ratna Pathak Shah, chronicles the secret lives of four women of different ages in a small town in India as they search for different kinds of freedom. A copy of the CBFC letter to the film’s producer Prakash Jha states: “The story is lady-oriented, their fantasy about life. There are continuous sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society, hence film refused.”
The film’s director Alankrita Shrivastava said she is determined to ensure that the Indian audiences get to watch the film. The decision has drawn flak from a string of celebrities including Pooja Bhatt, Farhan Akhtar and Vivek Agnihotri.
Speaking about the film Rangoon the director said “Rangoon” is a “humble tribute” to Indian revolutionary Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army for their “lesser known” sacrifices and contribution to India’s freedom struggle.
“The contribution of the INA (Azad Hind Fauj) is a basis of the film which we didn’t want to disclose before the release. It is very necessary for us to show it to his family because Netaji’s and the INA’s sacrifice has never been seen in a mainstream movie,” Bhardwaj said here at the screening of the period drama for Bose’s family.
The “Omkara” and “Haider” maker hoped the “unknown” facets of the Indian history will reach the masses.
“The young generation has no clue about INA’s contributions to India’s freedom struggle. This film is a humble tribute to the struggle which is lesser known,” he said in the presence of Netaji’s grand-nephew Chandra Kumar Bose.
Asked about controversies on the INA and Netaji, the multi-talented Bhardwaj — a writer, singer, composer, director and producer — clarified he never intended to stir up debates.
“My aim was not to play around with controversies or create a controversy. You will get references to the 1940s. I have not meddled with the facts but mixed them with fiction,” the National Award-winner observed.
The period drama is set in the 1940s amidst the turmoil of India’s independence struggle.