To state that some or the other controversy is always lurking around Bollywood will be an understatement. The web of controversies seems to get murkier and murkier. Films are managing to stir up political, caste or religious uproar on a fairly regular basis now. This past week, Bollywood witnessed something that was never seen before in its entire history; a film after being passed by the censor board without any cuts, was forced to cut out a few scenes because it hurt the sentiments of a few people within the released week. The movie in question is Anurag Kashyap’s latest release, MANMARZIYAAN.

The scenes that were edited out in the film were those which showed Abhishek Bachchan smoking a cigarette. The reason why this happened is he is shown playing the role of a Sikh in the film and one of the activists filed an RTI saying that Anurag did not show the Sikh community in a respectable way. This is, despite the makers taking every precaution and consulting the local Sikh people about it and then carrying on with the shoot. The makers had to also edit out the sequences showing Taapsee Pannu smoke in the film. MANMARZIYAAN is not the only film that has run into trouble in recent past. Salman Khan Films’ LOVERATRI also had to change their original title to LOVE YATRI last week as a few people claimed that it hurts their sentiments. Due to this, the makers willingly changed the title of the film. A fortnight before the release.

But the troubles are still not over for Salman Khan and his film LOVE YATRI. The same people who had a problem with the original title, are now asking for a ban on the film completely even with a change in title. The reason being that the film is a love story with a backdrop of Navratri and that’s the issue the complainant have raised. The makers have responded to this saying that the film certification and everything related to it are the responsibility of the experts and it is best to be left with them for decisions on these cases. Which is very true; the censor board is the authority to preside over certifying the film and its likes and if they feel there is any issue in the film, if sentiments are being hurt, then they can take a decision regarding the same.

Coming back to MANMARZIYAAN, the censor passed it without any cuts as they didn’t feel there was anything worth being cut out in the film. But now that the film has released and the issue has been raised and the scene has been cut, can we expect something like this to happen on a regular basis from now on? Censor board is the final authority in passing on the certification but if tomorrow someone may have an issue; then they will force the makers to cut the scenes even after its got a certification. You do this with one film and there will be 10 other films in line that you’ll have to do the same thing with. This is something that should have never been encouraged, especially after the film has released. One can’t pass a film and then a week later, ask some scenes to be cut and then have it played with those cuts again.

Same goes with the case of LOVE YATRI. First they’ll ask you to change the name of the film. Then they will ask you to tweak a few scenes. After complying to the demands, next you know they’ll ask a ban on your film. We saw the same happen with PADMAAVAT. We can’t get used to doing this on such regularity. There needs to be a way where we don’t have to change the names of our films, tweak a few scenes or edit then out or have our films banned.

By – Amul Vikas Mohan

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