Prakash Jha’s Lipstick Under My Burkha has been denied certification by the revising committee of CBFC headed by Pahlaj Nihalani. The film directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, has Ratna Pathak Shah, Konkona Sen Sharma, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur in lead roles. This news has left movie lovers shocked, especially when the letter received by the production house was shared on Twitter for everyone to see.
The reactions ranged from anger, disgust, shock and some even mocked the CBFC for the spelling mistakes on the letter. However, the producer of the film Prakash Jha is the face of calm in this storm. He is, in fact, confident that the film will hit the theaters in India. In an interview with indianexpress.com, Prakash Jha, spoke about his battle with the censor board, the warm welcome Lipstick Under My Burkha has received internationally and his love for good cinema.
Well-known for National Award-winning documentaries and socially relevant movies like Jai Gangaajal, Satyagraha, Aarakshan and Raajneeti; Prakash Jha explains that filmmakers and producers don’t waste their effort and money on projects that are not credible, or accept to produce content that is not worthy. “It is not just me who thinks that Lipstick Under My Burkha is a great film. The film has received great response internationally and has been awarded at Tokyo International Festival and the esteemed Oxfam India. Alankrita is in fact in Glasgow right now, for the premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival,” he pointed out.
Battling it out with the censor boards is not something new for Jha. He has gone a few rounds with the CBFC before for his films Jai Gangaajal, Chakravyuh, and Rajneeti. Each of this film faced one issue or the other. Does he feel targeted by the CBFC? “I feel like any producer whose movie has been denied certification, which is bad. I feel that Nihalani and the committee did their work, in the manner, they deemed fit. Even though I have faced certain issues over the years with the CBFC, I will not say that I feel targeted by the board,” explained Jha.
While previously his films were given A certificate or U/A with cuts, this time it was refused certification point blank. Though Prakash Jha was not present when the revising committee made the decision, the director of the film Alankrita Shrivastava was present. Prakash said, “Alankrita was present but there was no communication made regarding the denial. They did not suggest cuts, neither did they explain the grounds clearly.”
The Jai Gangaajal director is, however, confident that the film will be released in the country. His next step is to move the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) for clearance of the film and we hope that like the other times he moved the FCAT, this works in their favour.