Is the word ‘Bombay’ profane and objectionable? Well, the Censor Board Film Certification (CBFC), the premier board that determines public exhibition of films, certainly thinks so. That’s why it went ahead to bleep out the word in a song by musician Mihir Joshi when it aired on television last week.
The song, titled ‘Sorry’, is an apology from a father to his daughter for the world that he is giving her, which is fraught with crimes against women almost everyday. Joshi himself was surprised at the turn of events.
“I don’t recall who was on the Censor Board at the time and frankly I don’t care. I still find this very silly,” Joshi told Express.
This bizarre decision by the CBFC caused us to venture a step ahead and think about what would happen to all those terms and phrases which are associated with the legendary old name of India’s financial capital. Should they be renamed? Here are some of those words:
1. Bombay High Court: The highest epitome of law, order and justice in the state. Now that the B-word has been bleeped out, could there be a name-changing process in order now?
2. Bombay Stock Exchange: Surprisingly, when the city changed its name from Bombay to Mumbai, the premier stock exchange on Dalal Street retained its name. Will the CBFC object to its old name now being used on television and movies? And, MSE anyone?
3. BEST buses: The historic public bus system that has its origins a century ago is known by the old name of the city. And it continues to be so. That said, should we make it that MEST buses now to be able to sound nice on television and the big screen?
4. IIT Bombay: This institution of higher education which has produced some of the most brilliant technical minds in the country shares the legacy of the B-word. Time for IIT-M.
5. Bombay duck: Also known as Bummalo, this is a popular fish variety, often dried and served as a starter. We are all guessing the fish wouldn’t protest to its name change. Or will it?
6. Bombay Sapphire: This famous variety of gin, that dates back to its introduction in 1987, is known among its users thanks to the old name of Mumbai. But if the general hullabaloo over censorship of the word translates to the gin company, I think I can already hear the voices at the liquor outlet. 2 bottles of Bombay Sapphire? Not available. 2 bottles of Mumbai Sapphire? Yes, that would be 400 bucks.
7. Bombay Dyeing: Established in 1879, this premier textile producer is not just India-famous, but world famous too.
8. Bollywood: It is the very industry on whose foundations the CBFC exists. It is the industry which lends its name from the old name of Mumbai. If the B-word is indeed considered objectionable, perhaps we should go to Mollywood. Yes, the small Malayalam film industry might object, but we are waiting for CBFC to lead the way.
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