Censorship might be a constant problem we face, when it comes to our speech, our news, and media, but the film industry is one that often bears the brunt of it all. With their latest ban on ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha,’ a film directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, the Censor Board has outdone themselves by denying its release in India. If the ban was justified and had a reasonable explanation behind it, maybe the nation wouldn’t be so irked but the reason the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting gave simply stated that “the story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contentious sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society, hence film refused under guidelines 1(a), 2(vii), 2(ix), 2(x), 2(xi), 2(xii) and 3(i).”
In layman terms, they’re saying the film is too ‘feminist’ for their patriarchal minds to willingly wrap around. Prakash Jha, the film’s producer, is understandably enraged and has filed for an official letter from the Revising Committee. Following that, they will approach the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) for an ensured film release, according to The Huffington Post.
‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ is not your average female protagonist film. It focuses on four Indian women of different ages, from a small town who openly assert their personal and sexual rights. It also won the Spirit of Asia Award at The 2016 Tokyo Film Festival, and then the Oxfam Award for Gender Equality at the Mumbai Film Festival. Considering the Health Ministry just released a manual stating that same-sex attraction is okay, this move from the Censor Board is a major step back.
If you’d like to watch the trailer of ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha,’ click here.
Feature Image Credit: www.scroll.in
Words: Cara Shrivastava