Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Film Padmavati :Censor Board Perspective

Film Padmavati : The Censor Board Perspective


The resolution of the controversy surrounding the film Padmavati has[i], for the time being been put, the Censor Board Chairman, Prasoon Joshi in the spotlight. What probably makes it perplexing for Prasoon is the feeling both from the Bhansali camp and those opposing the movie, is that he is on their side. What must be going on in the minds of those deciding the fate of the movie and consequently India’s law and order scenario? Before we try to delve into the minds of the Censor Board, here is a brief look at water which has already flown under the bridge:
It’s not for us to pass judgement,but worthwhile to examine the rules and try to understand their extent of compliance. The Censor Board should ideally rely on 2 documents – The Cinematograph Act of 1952 and the Cinematograph Certification Rules of 1983.
The clauses of these acts which the Director/ Producer of Padamvati film has already apparently violated are :
1. Advertisement of the movie without CBFC certificate:
According to Rule 38[ii] (CBFC) of Cinematograph (Certification) Rules 1983 any person advertising a film by means of insertion in newspapers, hoarding, posters, handbills or trailers shall indicate the category of certification. Non- compliance of this rule will be a cognizable and non-bail able offence under section 7 of Cinematograph Act 1952
We see so many YouTube trailers of Padmavati which are in violation of this rule, i.e. advertising without indicating the category of certification. Although to be fair, such promotional trailers have been released for several(almost all?) movies. But the Government could do well to either amend the rule or penalize the producers/ directors in accordance with the law.

2. Exhibition of Films without CBFC Certificate:
Rule (relevant extract):
The following are the major violations that agitate the minds of the public:
c. exhibition of a film in a form other than the one in which it was certified. Such violations are known as interpolations.
Interpolations can be described as follows..
..vi.exhibition of films without CBFC certificate.
Bhansali and company appear to be in violation of exhibiting the film to certain sections of the media without CBFC certificate. The penalty of such violations are mentioned hereunder :
Violations of Cinematograph act and penalties:
1.Offences with regard to violations of certification provisions are cognizable. Furthermore, they are non-bailable.
…3.A person guilty of violation while exhibiting celluloid films is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to Three years, or with fine which may extend to Rs.1/-lakh, or with both, and with a further fine up to Rs.20,000 for each day for a continuing offence.
Furthermore, the trial court can direct that the offending film be forfeited to the Government.
3. The place where the movie is exhibited also needs to be licenced
The Cinematograph Act of 1952, Part III, mentions that the Cinematograph exhibitions to be licenced. Elaborating this in clause 10 it is clearly mentioned that no person shall give an exhibition by means of a cinematograph[iii] elsewhere than in a place licenced under this Part or otherwise than in compliance with any conditions and restrictions imposed by such licence.
So one wonders where Arnab Goswami, Zaka Jacob and Rajat Sharma went to watch the movie.
To answer the question as to why Bhansali hasn’t been arrested already, the Censor board relies on the State Government and Union Territory Administrations for the enforcement[iv] of such rules, since exhibition of films is a State subject.
Why have the State Governments not initiated action against those responsible for screening an uncertified movie?
Pahlaj Nihalani, the erstwhile Censor Board Chief has also termed the Censor Board Certificate granted by the British Board of Film Classification “illegal[v]. According to him it was illegal to export a film prior to certification from the country of origin.

If the CBFC choses to act objectively in deciding the fate of the movie, it faces several challenges, both from external factors and from within.
The challenge comes from the wordings of the Act itself.
Clause 3(1) of the Cinematographic (Certification) rules 1983 states that a member of the Board shall hold office during the pleasure of the Central Government. The same holds true for members of the advisory panel. ((Clause 8 (1)) .While this may be necessary to ensure law and order, this leaves the autonomy of the board vulnerable to the whims of any dispensation. Similarly one can’t be assured of any decision remaining within the limits of objectivity, with a person whose business interests are embedded in fields related to the Film Industry.
A table on the home page of the CBFC website[vi] provides timelines for the various processes of certifications as per Rule 41 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952:-
Time Limit
Scrutiny of Applications
7 Days
Formation of Examining Committee
15 days
Forwarding the EC Report to Chairman
10 days
Communication of the order to the applicant
3 days
Surrender of cuts by the producer
14 days
Examination of cuts
14 days
Issue of Certificate
5 days
Total Time Limit
68 days
It has been apparently incorrectly reported that 68 days is the outer time limit for any certification. Clause 41 of the Act clearly mentions that once a movie has been referred to the Examining Committee, it may (41.4.a) find it necessary to have the shooting script scrutinized or have the authenticity of the incidents depicted in a film of historical, mythological, biographical or legendary nature verified. For this a provisional report is submitted by the regional officer to the Chairman within a maximum of 3 working days after such examination. Thereafter, the Chairman has to consider the report and issue an order on the provisional report. (41.4.b.), following which a written communication is issued to the applicant who then has to submit the script or authentic sources on which the subject of his film is based within 10 days of receipt of such communication. This shall be scrutinized by the examining officer (41.4.d.) and final report of the Examining Committee is forwarded to the Chairman within 10 days of the receipt of script or authentic sources.
Alternatively, the Examining Committee, in their Provisional Report to the Chairman may also indicate that an expert opinion be sought on subjects relating to defence, foreign relations, any particular religion, law, medicine or any other subject. In such a case, the Chairman may specify a time limit for obtaining such expert opinion for the submission of the final report of the Examination Committee.(41.4.d)
Instead of taking 13 days (As per the table for stage 3 and 4) by the Examining Committee, the time taken (even in the normal course appears to be 10+10+3=23days) can be much more particularly in the case of movies like Padmavati, where a committee of experts may be called in to ratify the contents. The table specifying the time period of 68 days also does not appear to consider the additional time required if the matter is sent to the Revising Committee.
Furthermore, the term “days” is misleading. It is specified in the Act that In calculating the periods specified in this rule working days alone shall be taken into account and Sundays and other holidays shall be excluded.

Prasoon Joshi may be assisted by the formation of an “expert committee”[vii] including historians. But his dilemma in this case is further convoluted by the fact that opinions of several “experts” are already biased in favour of Bhansali’s version.[viii]
As per a Government of India Ministry of Information and broadcasting notification dated 6th December 1991, the Central Government directed the CBFC to be guided by following certain principles in sanctioning films. The first part – objectives of the film certification, clause 1a,1b and 1c, can perplex the soundest of judicial minds, on account of their mandating principles which are literally the opposing ends of the spectrum.
1(a) states that the CBFC must see to it that the medium of film remains responsible and sensitive to the values and standards of society. The numerous protests against the film Padmavati have shown how disturbing a large section of the people find the trailers of the movie.
1(b) however, loads the dice to some extent in favour of Bhansali. According to 1(b) (the objectives of film certification should ensure that) artistic expression and creative freedom are not unduly curbed.
Clause 1(c) swings the pendulum back in favor of the audience – certification is responsive to social change – There has been a dramatic change in the narrative of being secular. While at one point it was considered taboo to declare your pride towards ones Hindu origins, now it’s apparently a sin to hide it. People are perceptibly wearing the tag of Hindutva on their sleeves. The episode of a Queen sacrificing her life was once recalled with a certain amount of embarrassment, during the anti-Sati movement 1980s.[ix] Now, a social change has brought about both acceptance and respect for those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of honor in India’s historic past (while condemning the practice in today’s context.)
Equally embarrassing a few years ago was acknowledging the fact that invaders of Islamic origins literally plundered the lives and wealth of the Hindu kingdoms of India. Even if the issue was brought up, it was accorded a certain degree of acceptability (they were kings so therefore barbarism was acceptable).But not anymore. While no one seeks redemption for their barbaric acts, people are not really eager to grant acceptance to the inhuman acts of the invaders.
Clause 2 of the above notification instructs the Censor Board to ensure that the security of the State is not jeopardised or endangered.(2.xv). With such large scale protest and violence based on hearsay and trailers, it is but obvious that the security of the State would be under threat. Clause 2, subhead (xvii) further mandates the CBFC to ensure that public order is not endangered.
Chief Ministers of several states have already banned the movie[x] fearing disruption of law and order. These 2 clauses will make it difficult for any authority to justify the clearance of this movie.
Clause 3(i) may provide some relief to Bhansali, which asks to Board to ensure that the film is judged in its entirety for the point of view of its overall impact. But this advantage is apparently completely lost, by Clause 3(ii) which urges the Board to ensure that the film is examined in the light of the period depicted in the film and the contemporary standards of the country and the people to which the film relates, provided that the film does not deprave the morality of the audience. The people to whom the film relates are mainly the Rajput community. Their representatives are clearly upset.
Network 18 is the parent company of one of the production houses (Viacom 18 Motion Pictures) of the film. While they may not have any stakes in the plot of the movie, they definitely have interests linked to the finances (the cost of the movie is said to be approximately Rs. 180 Crore). It is therefore imperative for them that the movie is certified and released in theatres.
Prasoon Joshi was the lyricist[xi] for the BJP’s official anthem for 2014 Lok Sabha elections. At the same time he could be accused of association with NDTV (a channel known for anti BJP leanings) since he created their ad campaign ‘Sach Dikhate Hain Hum’. Similary he was also part of the Core Creative Advisory Committee for the controversial Commonwealth Games 2010, under the UPA Government. While one can argue that this mature, talented genius can’t be faulted for providing creative services to the powerful political dispensations, the politics related to this issue will certainly weigh in. But I mean that in a good way, in the sense that the CBFC can ill afford to neglect the wishes of the “illiterate/fringe” masses under the temptation to appear magnanimous. Perhaps rightly so, Prasoon has sought time to review the movie, instead of simply playing to the gallery of “secular brigade” of “intellectuals”.

The controversy hyped up around the film Padmavati is guaranteed to provide it instant success. The quality of the movie is now irrelevant. The influential Indian Film Industry in partnership with the Media Houses and the Corporate Sector has built up tremendous pressure against censorship of this movie. Blog after blog[xii] has saturated the internet to try to shame those opposing the movie, in a bid to mobilize public opinion – a key factor in the kind of banana republic India is being slowly converted to, thanks to the trials by media.
The fact the no Government has dared to act against the Producers or Director of the movie despite their apparently being insurmountable evidence of violation of the law of the land, speaks volumes regarding the influence of power of Bhansali.
At the same time, everyone realises that anything remotely objectionable in the movie has the potential to trigger off civil unrest.
While banning the movie seems unlikely in view of the powerful vested interests, in all probability a half-baked compromise formula is all that can be expected from the Censor Board. Those in it for money, will experience windfall gains the likes of which have not been seen.
At the same time this could also serve as an opportunity of the CBFC to showcase its autonomy by taking an unbiased objective decision, which will send across a message to the rich and powerful lobbies that creative liberty should not be reduced to be a source for financial plunder.

[i] RottenmAngoMan#Objections_To_Padmavati_Moviehttps://goo.gl/djEmfk&#9757
[ii] Indian Cinematograph ActRule 38।।https://goo.gl/RjEXb4।।&#9757
[iii] Cinematograph includes any apparatus for the representation of moving pictures or series of pictures.(Cinematograph Act of 1952, Definitions – 2(c )
[iv] Central Board of Film Certification Enforcementhttps://goo.gl/Fd1Jq5&#9757
[v] DeccanChronicleIt’s Illegal To Export..https://goo.gl/u5KrmQ&#9757
[vi] Central Board of Film Certification Homepage https://goo.gl/nZ4H7V।&#9757
[vii] The Asian AgeGovt Looks For Historians.. https://goo.gl/9inTu5&#9757
[viii] RottenmAngoMan Queen Padmavati : Her Story,,https://goo.gl/VhtP8T&#9757
[ix] WikipediaSati (Practice)https://goo.gl/pkBWuk&#9757
[x] RottenmAngoMan Queen Padmavati : Real Life Drama https://goo.gl/tXaYHZ&#9757
[xi] Narendramodi.in BJP releases party’s official.. https://goo.gl/7TKBCp&#9757
[xii] Times Of India ..A Bigger Threat To BJP.. Chetan Bhagat https://goo.gl/bC4uXA&#9757


  1. Desh Bandhu Gupta1 January 2018 at 22:15

    Prasoon Joshi is a snake in disguise of a loyal dog. How he passed the movie despite objections from expert panel. He is sickular Khangress trojan horse


  2. Shame on Bhansali

  3. Prashanth Ramarajan1 January 2018 at 22:53

    Good slap on COWard fringe Rajputs that movie has been given certificate.

  4. CBFC played to the gallery of Viacom18 money power. Maybe more people need to read the @rottenmanhoman blogs on #Padmavati

  5. I would love to watch and rilease my built up desire on padukone. Please show movie quickly

  6. Karni Sena should cut her b@@bs also

  7. I want to watch Deepika Padukone b@@bs as Padmavati on large screen and imagine f#cking her just like Khilji did.

    1. Katue I am making film for you to watch your allah fcking ayesha. Better you come to watch

  8. I got so horny after watching trailor. I can't wait to see the movie and realize my ultimate fantasy of cumming on the Goddess Queen

  9. The Movie Padmavat better be good. Or Else I will personally go and shave Bhansali's head for wasting my 300 bucks

  10. Freedom of Art and Expression is fundamental. Do not suppress it at any cost

    1. Inciting violence , distorting history under garb of freedom of Art and Expression is allowed as well ? Mr. Gustavio do you know that a life has been lost for this profit seeking movie ?

  11. Now anti national Anurag Kashyap has joined sickular librandu brigade bandwagon for cheap publicity. Good that Padmavat has been banned in Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.

  12. Feku is stuck between his Chaddi gang bhakts and his Chaddi buddy Reliance

  13. #PadmavatiBlocked the movie Padmavati should be bannned using section 6 of the Cinematographic Act

  14. The silence of I&B Ministry and PM is deafening

    1. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is biggest ganster fraud of recent times. Viacom18 , a greedy corporate giant is fleecing Indians. The best democratic method of teaching these criminals a lesson is to BOYCOTT the flop movie.Just like our ancestors did for free india movement

  15. The CBFC should have cut ✄ the whole movie

  16. Name should be further shortened from Padmavat to Pad (meanning Fart) ☁

  17. Doctor Divakar Sinha13 January 2018 at 02:06

    Fraud,criminal and crooked Sanjay Leela Bhansali should be put in same jail as Baba Ram Rahim where he can get some Pitaji Ki Maafi

  18. Ha Ha Ha �� VIACOM AND KHILJI wins @rottenmangoman!!! Padmaavat release date: In major relief to the makers of Padmaavat, the Supreme Court has stayed the ban imposed on the film by various states and paved the way for its release. The ban was imposed by Gujarat, Haryana, Rajastan and Madhya Pradesh.

  19. Lifting of ban on Padmavati is a disgrace and insult to the millions of Rajputs who have sacrificed their lives for this country. I feel insulted, disillusioned and humiliated to live in this country where honor, dignity and pride have been crushed under the weight of cheap profiteering.

  20. Shame on our Government and Institutions like CBFC and others. It is clear that our own institutions want to wipe out Hinduism from India

  21. Brave Rajputana Soldiers humiliated by showcasing Padmaavat on REPUBLIC DAY:
    1.Naik Jadu Nath Singh-Soldier from 1st Battalion, Rajput Regiment Param Veer Chakra
    2.Major B. K. Pant, commander 2nd Rajputs
    3.Sepoy ANUMOL PRATAP SINGH 11 Mechanised Infantry (18 Rajputana Rifles)
    4.Naib Subedar NARENDRA KUMAR 12 Rajputana Rifles
    5.Rifleman MANISH MALIK 5 Rajputana Rifles
    6.Rifleman KHINV SINGH 7 Rajputana Rifles
    7.Havildar CHARAN SINGH GURJAR 4 Rajput
    8.Havildar PARMAL SINGH 4 Rajput

    The honours and awards tally for the Rajputs is as follows (from Infantry in India):
    Pre-Independence: 1 VC, 1 GC, 10 DSO, 33 MC, 10 IOM, 27 MM and 46 IDSM.
    Post-Independence: 1 PVC, 1 AC, 7 MVC, 12 KC, 58 VrC, 20 SC, 67 SM, 4 YSM.

    JAI HIND !!!

  22. Shailesh Balachandran22 January 2018 at 19:55

    BAREILLY: Police have lodged an FIR under sedition charges against an unidentified person for uploading an inflammatory video on Facebook on Sunday evening against the release of Padmaavat. In the video, the man has allegedly threatened to destroy Parliament and Supreme Court if the film was released and screened.
    A day after people of the Kshatriya community in Sambhal sent a letter written in blood to the President and PM to protest the release, the video turned up on social media and was widely circulated.

  23. ALL THIS BECAUSE OF SELFISH AND GREEDY DIRECTORS AND PRODUCERS :( As violent protests against the release of film 'Padmaavat' burgeoned, the Multiplex Association of India said today its members would not screen the period drama in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa.
    The decision of the association, which represents about 75 per cent of the multiplex owners in the country, came as Rajput outfits and other fringe elements vandalised malls, burned vehicles, and issued open threats to theatre owners and public in their bid to stall its release, claiming distortion of history.