A day after filmmakers from the Indian Film and Television Directors Association (IFTDA) gathered together in support of Kushan Nandys Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, which has been ordered many major verbal and visual cuts, censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani has hit out at the movie's supporters for defaming the CBFC.
Nihalani claims the brouhaha with the IFTDA has been planned to bring publicity for Babumoshai Bandookbaaz in collusion with "disgruntled elements" from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
"Look at the timing of their so-called revolt against the CBFC. Kushan Nandy (director) and his producer (Kiran Shroff) had come to us for a certificate in the first week of July. We had given them an ‘A' certificate with many cuts which included graphic scenes of lovemaking and explicit references to inflamed body parts.
"They had the choice of either going to the Revising Committee or the Tribunal (Film Certification Appellate Tribunal). They chose to go straight to the Tribunal. Now when the Tribunal is viewing their film this week, they suddenly decide to create a stir around their film. And what better target than the CFBC? Where were they for month? What happened to suddenly awaken their dormant liberal impulses?"
On Wednesday, the cast and crew of the film, including actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bidita Bag, were present at a press conference conducted by IFTDA and some of its members like filmmaker Sudhir Mishra, Ashoke Pandit, Alankrita Shrivastava, Vikramaditya Motwane and Rahul Dholakia were present.
The film's makers claimed the CBFC gave its justification of 48 cuts by saying that even children watch an 'A' film. Shroff also claimed the members of CBFC humiliated her.
Nihalani says he has no problems with the criticism leveled at the CBFC, but he questions the motive and the support the protesters seem to have harnessed from within the CBFC.
"Like I said, they waited for almost a month and decided to make a noise on the eve of the film's viewing by the Tribunal about the CBFC's tyranny, injustice and non-liberal attitude. They are being supported from elements from within the CBFC who claim to be the face of liberalism in the CBFC.
"The meeting with the IFTDA was supposed to be attended by filmmakers. But there were individuals at the meeting who have not made a film in decades."
The CBFC chairperson says he has recommended the strongest action against those defaming the CBFC for publicity.
"You (the makers of Babumoshai Bandookbaaz) claim that members of the CBFC misbehaved with you. And you are supported in your allegation by members of the CBFC. Please prove your allegation or be ready with answers in the court."