Last month, much to the relief of filmmakers and the audience, the Censor Board of Film Certification underwent a revamp in August. Padma Shri recipient and lyricist Prasoon Joshi replaced Pahlaj Nihalani as the chairperson and revered film personalities like Vidya Balan and TS Nagabharana became board’s new members. Hopes are pinned on the new censor board to bring the much-needed sanity to the film certification process in the country, and as the chairperson and his members have kept mum about their plan of action, it has left the industry and the media speculating about what the new team will bring to the table.
So, when on Tuesday evening, Vidya attended the launch of a new channel, &Prive HD in Mumbai, the only question on everyone’s mind was regarding the CBFC’s functioning over the first month since undergoing a major change. The National Award-winning actor refused to divulge any detail but she did reveal that the board members recently had a meeting and she is happy “that all like-minded people are on the board.”
Vidya, who never shied away from raising her voice against the concept of censoring films, felt that even though the responsibility of being a CBFC member is huge, had she refused the proposal, she would have lost the right to criticise it.
“I thought if I don’t say yes to this, I’d lose the right to criticise any decision ever taken by the CBFC. I thought I was ready to shoulder the responsibility. I don’t want to say anything about what our approach is going to be or what our decisions are going to be based on,” she said.
Also present at the event was filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj, who said he was happy and hopeful with Vidya’s inclusion in the board and “friend” Prasoon’s appointment as the chairperson. “It feels good that Vidya is there in the committee, and a person who is a poet is heading CBFC. I hope he remains poetic in his procedures also. I am very hopeful. Prasoon is a friend. I really love his work,” Vishal said.
Other members in the board’s committee include Gautami Tadimalla, Narendra Kohli, Naresh Chandra, Neil Herbert, Vivek Agnihotri, Ramesh Patange, Vani Tripathi, Jeevitha Rajasekhar and Mihir Bhuta.