Fearing that Salman Khan’s next release ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ could lead to communal tension, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), acting on a communication of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), roped in two Muslim members on the examining committee that finally cleared the release of the film with U/A certification.
The MHA had communicated to the Censor Board to closely examine the film as it was worried that it could potentially have content that may lead to communal tension, government sources said. The MHA wanted the Censor Board to take appropriate measures — essentially, cuts and deletions — before granting it certification.
The Censor Board cleared the film with five cuts, mainly aimed at neutralising the use of abusive language and a reference to Lord Ram.
“The examining committee also examined the title of the film and found nothing objectionable it it,” sources said. The film, which is about a mute girl from Pakistan who finds herself lost in India and is helped by an Indian man to get back to her country, is slated to release on Eid this month.
The MHA asked the CBFC to ensure that any portion of the movie was not in violation of Section 5(b) of the Cinematograph Act, 1952. Section 5(b) of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 mandates that a film shall not be certified for public exhibition if, in the opinion of the authority competent to grant the certificate, the film or any part of it is against the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or involves defamation or contempt of court or is likely to incite the commission of any offence.
Before setting up the examining committee to examine the film, the CBFC informed the Information & Broadcasting Ministry about the MHA missive and sought guidance as to how to go about the matter.
The I&B ministry, on its part, told the CBFC that it cannot intervene in the matter and that the CBFC should take a call on the matter going strictly by the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 and Cinematograph Rules, 1983. Following this, the CBFC set up the examining committee which with Muslim representatives on board.