Responding to allegations that the CBFC's 'A' rating of our 'Aligarh' trailer reeked of homophobia, Censor chief Pahlaj Nihalani gave a mind-numbing statement to a leading paper this morning.
He said, and I quote,
"Mr (Hansal) Mehta forgets, homosexuality is unconstitutional in the country. And the CBFC guidelines clearly state that all content relating to sexual topics are not to be certified for under-age viewing."
So basically, Mr Nihalani doesn't even want you to discuss or debate homosexuality openly. He has decided this for you.
While our media discusses homosexuality and equal rights openly in the papers and on the telly, the subject will not be allowed the same respect in our cinema.
This censor dictatorship is taking place even as India's Supreme Court is preparing to hear a curative petition on section377. In a rarest of rare instance, the SC will be allowing an 'open court' hearing, so that all petitioners can be present to thrash this out...openly!
Even the highest court of our country has taken cognisance of the fact that the millions of Indian homosexuals need to be addressed.
But the CBFC chief will not allow us to discuss these developments with our family through our cinema. Because in the court of Mr Nihalani, the case is already closed!
For those that came in late, CBFC's Adult certification for the Aligarh trailer has ensured that it cannot be played on TV until restricted hours, i.e post 11pm. The trailer also cannot be attached to any U or U/A rated movies playing in our cinemas, cutting off most of our theatrical promotions. This is a huge blow to our publicity.
By citing the 'unconstitutional' nature of homosexuality as a reason to curb the trailers reach, Mr Nihalani has opened a can of worms.
'Murder', 'Rape', 'Terrorism'? Are these crimes constitutional? Why then did Nihlani not certify trailers of many such films with an A certificate?
The upcoming comedy Tere Bin Laden 2 is themed after a dreaded (unconstitutional) terrorist, and fortunately for us, it's trailer wasn't awarded an 'Adult' certificate.
Then why the hypocrisy, Pahlaj Nihalani?
By quoting guidelines and saying 'all content relating to sexual topics are not to be certified for under-age viewing' Nihalani is again shooting himself in the foot. He has only recently approved the trailers of Kya Kool Hain Hum 3 and Mastizaade that were telecast on National TV.
Heaving bosoms, erect penises and simulated ejaculation gags have been repeatedly thrust in the faces of children who watch daytime TV.
How Nihalani feels about such 'sexual topics' is evident from his vulgar filmography, but this is the more important point; hasn't Nihlani himself violated the CBFC guidelines by letting these trailers through?
And he admits it! Nihalani was least embarrassed to say recently that he passed the trailers of the above-mentioned sex comedies to shed his 'Sanskaari' image!! No kidding. In an interview to DNA on Dec 28, 2015, Nihalani says, and I quote:
''We are in a Catch-22 situation. Karo toh gaali, na karo toh gaali. When we were strict with the vulgarity quotient, we were called prudes. Sanskaari became a gaali. And to endorse obscenity was seen worthy of taali. So, we certified some films with scenes and dialogues that we would otherwise have never passed as they went against our guidelines."
Holy guacamole! Mr Nihalani should consider exporting himself back to the days when Karisma had a unibrow and Shakti Kapoor wore chaddis!
Because dear sir, your game is up. Even the government that supported you thus far, will not be able to wash down the embarrassment you have generated with this idiotic and hypocritical move.
Thank you for admitting that you are violating CBFC guidelines to suit your personal interests. It is high time that this government asks you to 'sarkaylo your khatiya' and return to making your brand of crass, innuendo based cinema. And you should know dear sir, that we won't call to ban you.
Because we believe, that in a democracy, everyone should be allowed their expression.
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