The Central Board of Film Certification has been in a love- hate relationship with the people and film industry members for quite some time now. This board was set up for sanctioning a certificate to films for public exhibition. This board consists of a Chairperson and Board members appointed by the Central Government to grant certification.
The board has been provided certain guidelines to follow while certifying films. Under this it states that the board has a right to not provide a film with certification if it is or it contains scenes that are against the interest of (the sovereignty and integrity of India) the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or involves defamation or contempt of court, or has the chances to incite people to commit offences or according to this current board, anything that has to do with sex or sexuality.
The CBFC is under the Central government’s wing unlike in many other countries and therefore many people believe that it is run by people who are against any form of sex of sexuality scenes in movies.
The most amusing thing is that it was called the Central Board of Film Censors and later changed its name to Central Board of Film Certification after the cinematography rules were revised in 1983. The phrase ‘old habits die hard’ might be the reason that they have been in a state of enmity with the public and certain film fraternity members.
The board appointed the Central Government has the right to certify a movie U (unrestricted public exhibition), U/A (parental guidance for children under the age of 12 years), A (restricted to adults), S (restricted to any special class of person). It may patently refuse to certify a movie if they believe that it might cause unrest in the society or country. They are also allowed to ask the directors to make some changes if needed and this is very popularly called ‘Cut’.
CBFC has been criticised on social media to be walking around with a scissor to ‘Cut’ anything that is sexual in nature. The board has been widely criticised by people for not providing certification to movies like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fifty Shades of Grey, India’s Daughter. They were widely censured for giving 90 cuts for Udta Punjab and cutting out two kissing scenes from Spectre. Currently, they are in the news and social media for not providing certification for movies like Lipstick under my Burkha and Ka Bodyscapes.
The CBFC is the one who decides if your movies would be a cut or shut case. Their hands are as good as Edward Scissor Hands.