In a relief for the makers of Lipstick Under My Burkha, the Film Certification Tribunal (FCAT) has ordered the censor board to grant an ‘A’ certificate to the film.
The Prakash Jha-produced film, which has won accolades at several international film festivals, was denied a release back home after Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) refused to grant it a certificate. In its justification, CBFC had said that the “women in the film are shown in bad light, particularly targeting women of certain community which might hurt sentiments.”
Following the CBFC’s decision, Jha and film’s director Alankrita Srivastava had filed an appeal in the FCAT. The FCAT, headed by former Delhi Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin, observed that the CBFC “misdirected themselves in denying certification” to the women-oriented film, as reported by PTI. “There cannot be any embargo on a women-oriented film or one containing sexual fantasies and expression of the inner desires of women,” observed the Tribunal.
It has directed that the film be granted certification with “voluntary and some additional cuts and deletions” while observing that the cuss words and intimate scenes shown in the film were integral to the storyline.
It, however, has directed the makers to mute a couple of Hindi words, including those referring to prostitutes, from a couple of scenes. Suggesting a few deletions in the intimate scenes, FCAT has added that it should not affect in any manner the projection and substance of the scene or in any manner affect the basic film.
All this while, the makers have maintained that the movie revolves around the lives of four women seeking freedom for their desires, dreams and aspirations through small acts of courage and stealthy rebellion against patriarchy.
Lipstick Under My Burkha has won the Spirit of Asia Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality at the Mumbai Film Festival. It features Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur.