CBFC’s refusal to certify ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ similar to moral policing: Activists

The movie's trailer has been lauded by the film fraternity for depicting the secrets of small-town women.

Published: 24th February 2017 04:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th February 2017 04:37 PM   |  A+A-

Screengrab from Lipstick Under My Burkha teaser


NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Film Certification’s (CBFC) denial to certify the upcoming film, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ has paved the way for widespread negativity among activists who are of the opinion CBFC needs to be educated immediately.
In the latest addition to the ongoing criticism of CBFC, social activist Abha Singh came out in support of Prakash Jha’s latest project, emphasising on the fact that CBFC cannot hide behind such ‘excuses’.
“The movie is about women who have been bound by certain norms. It is about women who want to achieve something in life. I don’t see anything wrong with that. If the word ‘Burkha’ is creating a stir, the filmmaker can be told to change the name. Otherwise, the CBFC’s denial is certainly debatable,” Singh told ANI.
With regards to the CBFC’s claim of the film allegedly depicting pornographic content and abusive language, Singh lashed out, questioning the organisation on how movies with abusive language and vulgarity are being certified with no objection.
“This movie represents women’s sexual desires. What is wrong with a woman fantasising? Pornography is so easily available to even children these days. Such websites need to be blocked. A film is a work of fiction. There should be more such films made,” added Singh.
Echoing similar sentiments, women activist Brinda Adige expressed her dissent on CBFC’s decision, stating that this is an indication of a ‘puritarian mind’.
“The patriarchy of both men and women in this position of power is symbolic of a Victorian era mind. They are nobody to tell us what we should and should not watch. This is also a kind of moral policing,” argued Adige.
Furthermore, Adige stressed on the importance of a review with regards to the members who hold such responsible positions.
“When a film celebrates women’s freedom or sexuality, it is being banned. However, pornographic content on the net is not monitored at all. It is very sad to see people with this mindset being given such powerful positions,” added Adige.            
The movie's trailer has been lauded by the film fraternity for depicting the secrets of small-town women.
The film won the Spirit of Asia Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality at the Mumbai Film Festival. It will be screened in Glasgow on Friday.
This is not the first time CBFC has refused to certify a film. Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer 'Haraamkhor' was refused a certificate for depicting an illicit relationship between a school teacher and his teenage student.


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