Bengaluru: ‘You can fight censors, but how to tackle fringe groups’

Bengaluru: With a controversy a day around the Central Board of Film Certification, or the Censor Board, documentary filmmakers Supriyo Sen and Somnath Waghmare said that a ‘disturbing trend of moral policing’ has emerged since the BJP government came to power at the Centre. The two were talking to Deccan Chronicle on the sidelines of a documentary symposium, ‘Mediacon 2018: Documenting Dissent’, in the city.

Sen, a national award winner, said that fringe groups, which are affiliated to governments in power in states, are beyond the purview of CBFC. “You can fight the censor board in courts, but how do you guarantee justice against the acts of a Karni Sena or any other unorganised and unidentified hoodlums or groups,” he asked.

The censor certificate is losing its relevance as government officials find some reason to stop screening of movies and documentaries, he said, and cited how the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) pulled out ‘Sexy Durga’ from screening. Such instances are disappointing for filmmakers as the final product of their work is restricted from being exhibited to the public, for whom the films and documentaries are made.

Waghmare said that CBFC has been functioning undemocratically over the last few years. “Society is now nurtured by injecting Islamophobia, Dalitophobia and Christianophobia across minds with only films glorifying the so-called Savarnas being encouraged and making their way to the screens without censor cuts,” he said.

“Cinema has got the power to fight casteism and Brahminism prevailing in our society. Restricting such expression is controlling dissemination of knowledge and information that has been happening for centuries now,” 

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