THE EXAMINING committee of the Central Board for Film certification (CBFC) has asked Ahmedabad-based filmmaker Dakxinkumar Bajrange (Chhara) to mute the phrase “mann ki baat” used in a dialogue in his film ‘Sameer’, as it is the “name of the Prime Minister’s radio show”. According to the director, he approached CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani later and pointed out that there is no mention of any radio show in his film. “He suggested that I re-dub it as ‘tann (body) ki baat’, which doesn’t make sense; ‘dil (heart) ki baat’ is perhaps closer to what I mean to express,” Bajrange said. The committee’s suggestion came at a recent screening of the film for certification.
Bajrange said that the phrase is part of a dialogue in the climax, where one character tells another: “Ek mann ki baat bataun? Tum character bohot achha bana lete ho (Should I speak my mind? You create good characters).” “Please do not get in touch with me regarding changes we suggest as part of the certification process. I will not explain the decisions,” Nihalani said. “If a filmmaker has an issue with our decisions, he is free to approach the revising committee and the Tribunal (Film Certification Appellate Tribunal).”
Bajrange claimed that this is only one of the several “arbitrary” changes suggested by CBFC in his film, a suspense thriller set against the backdrop of three terror attacks. Bajrange said he has been asked to tone down a blast scene, and mute the words “musalman” and “Al Jazeera”. The filmmaker claimed the committee did not allow him a hearing after the screening to defend the suggested cuts. Bajrange said he is now looking to apply to the revising committee and has prepared his response.