Veteran actress Shabana Azmi has stressed the need to adopt a US-style film certification system. She believes filmmakers, not the censor board, should decide whether a scene needs to be removed.
She responded to a question in view of the ‘Pathaan’ controversy at an event here on Sunday evening. The five-time National Film Award winner said that CBFC is not a censorship board.
By certification, it means classified and not censored. She said that our country follows the UK style of censorship where the government supposedly selects 30-odd people from various professions or professions like academics, sociologists, etc. According to the political system of that time, it puts them on trial every five years to change the country’s morals.
She added, “It is not a hidden secret that those people who are taken onboard, have an affinity with the ruling party.” She said that the US system must be adopted. Whereby the filmmakers and artists themselves yield and decide that they do not want a single cut but they realize that age-appropriate behavior is important. If they have a universal exhibition, they voluntarily give cuts.
She further added that she has been screaming for many years. She said that there is a need to amend the Cinematograph Act 1952. When you have certified a film for public view, there should not be law and order problems. But posters are being burned as well as movie halls are being vandalized still.
“Freedom of expression means that you can speak harsh words, but if it triggers communal riots, then it is the state’s responsibility to handle and control it,” Shabana Azmi concluded.