Shabana Azmi Feels Censor Board Should Be 'More' Broad-Minded

03/02/2016 9:51 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - AUGUST 19: Bollywood actor Shabana Azmi during the launch of a music video, Phool khil jayenge (The flower will bloom), on the subject of immunization, featuring Vidya Balan and Farhan Akhtar, at Taj Place on August 19, 2014 in New Delhi, India. During a launch, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said, Lets make a pledge here to become health sainiks and each of us would strive to inspire other ordinary people to become health volunteers to work for a healthy nation. (Photo by Prabhas Roy/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

MUMBAI -- National-award-winning actress Shabana Azmi says the censor board can work with a broader mindset provided the Cinematograph Act undergoes a revision.

Recently, trailer of filmmaker Hansal Mehta's upcoming drama Aligarh was given an 'A' certificate by the board as the movie dealt with homosexuality.

Azmi, who acted in Deepa Mehta's 1996 controversial film Fire, about a lonely woman falling in love with her sister-in-law, feels the censor board should be called "modern film certification."

"They can be that (broad minded)... But the thing is they are bound by the Act, by whatever is the rule book. The rule book needs to be changed. And for that to happen, it needs an overhaul," Azmi told PTI.

"First you have to call it the modern film certification, you cannot call it the censor board. When you call it the censor board you feel inherently you have to censor. You are supposed to certify, classify. That is your business, not to censor," she added.

The 65-year-old Arth (1982) actress said as the censor board is chosen in affiliation to the current government, it cannot subject to the country's morality.

"We all know that the board is chosen because of its affiliation to the government in power. That means you are subjecting on country's morality... To the political dispensation of the day, which simply isn't acceptable. So this overhaul is necessary of the 1952 Cinematograph Act."

A new committee, headed by filmmaker Shyam Benegal, has been appointed by the government to look into the working of the board, which has been at the receiving end of criticism by filmmakers.

Azmi congratulated the government and said it is a "broad based" committee which is a "healthy" thing.

"I think it's a broad based committee. I would like to congratulate the government for not going with people in the committee who are only... You can't say that Shyam Benegal is a BJP supporter. So that's a good, healthy thing."

The veteran actress hopes the recommendations of the committee is taken up by the board to frame a relevant policy.

"I do hope they take into consideration the recommendations (of new committee) and then come up with a policy which is more relevant in time.

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