CBFC should restrict itself to giving certification: Rathore

Panaji, Nov 21 (IANS) After the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) was ridiculed for cutting short kissing scenes in “Spectre”, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Saturday said the decision of what to watch and what not to watch should be left to the people, adding that the job of CBFC is only to give certification.

“People are mature enough to decide what to watch and what not to and the job of the board is certification. CBFC’s main role is certification not censorship. If someone is coming to you with a product, don’t give suggestions but give a certificate. If the producer want to change it, it is his wish,” Rathore told media on the sidelines of Film Bazaar here.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has been roasted for cutting short kissing scenes between actor Daniel Craig and his leading ladies in the 24th James Bond film, “Spectre”.

Going by the hashtag — #SanskariJamesBond — on Twitter, a majority of Indian James Bond fans don’t seem to have liked the cuts the CBFC has effected in the latest Bond offering.

Rathore added that he would suggest that CBFC should act as a board without propagating any individual ideology.

He said: “The decision of censorship should be under constitutional limitation freedom of speech or programming board for U and A certificates”.

There are times when filmmakers call for the minister of state for information and broadcasting to intervene and sort out the censorship issues. But according to Rathore it is not that easy.

“CBFC is an autonomous body we cannot as a government interfere in their work. We don’t interfere in day-to-day matter,” he said.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The politician says that a new cinematography act and other methods are being considered to make censorship smoother in India.

“We are working on a new cinematography act. A draft has come from justice Mudgal committee, we may put it in public domain or give to some experts for suggestions.

“We are also in the process of making censorship easier and transparent for certification to ensure rights of the filmmaker. And gradually we will make the entire process online say in next five years,” he said.

Since the time Pahlaj Nihalani took over as censor board chairman, he has been embroiled in controversies – be it the diktat on usage of cuss words in films or his high handed attitude.

Rathore says he is well aware about the happenings as “board members keep on updating us about it.”

“I would again suggest that a collective decision should be taken as a board and not an individual,” he said.

Commenting on Nihalani’s video, where he calls himself a “chamcha”, Rathore said the government has no control over an individual act unless and until it is a violation of freedom of speech and expression.

Rathore became a part of Film Bazaar, organised by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), to unveil the Film Facilitation Office logo. The annual film market, which is held alongside the International Film Festival of India, is underway till November 24.

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