Prakash Jha's upcoming film Jai Gangaajal, starring Priyanka Chopra, is in a spot of bother with the censors.
The hinterland cop drama has been passed by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC, commonly referred to as the Censor Board). However, there's a catch: the board's Revising Committee (RC), which included chairman Pahlaj Nihalani, has asked for 11 cuts in order for the film to get a U/A certificate, reported Mumbai Mirror. These include words such as 'saala' and 'ghanta'.
Cutting out all instances of such words, Jha has argued, would change the film's texture. "Saala is a word we use in everyday conversation. My cop drama is set in the hinterlands. I'm not saying anything anti-national or anti-religion," he told Mirror.
The irony is that one of Jha's previous films, Gangaajal (2003), starring Ajay Devgn, was passed easily at the time with only one word muted, despite being full of profanity and violence, and has been telecast on TV "over 300 times".
"There's a need to look at the context in which a particular word or phrase is used. If a villain is saying something and is immediately taken to task for it and not glorified, they should let it go," he added.
Interestingly, the Hindi-Tamil bilingual Saala Khadoos, starring R Madhavan and presented by director Rajkumar Hirani, has been cleared by censors for release at the end of this month.
However, Jha has no plans to take this lying down. With an aim to avoid getting an 'A' certificate as he wants his film to be seen by youngsters, he will appeal against the RC's decision. "I'm going to the Tribunal [FCAT, the next level of appeal in the CBFC] hoping they will see things in the right context. Else, I'll move court. One mindset has created all this absurdity," he said.
Jai Gangaajal is slated to release on March 29.
Also see on HuffPost: