Pink the high-profile film on violence against women, has just been viewed and certified with a ‘UA’ certificate (which means it can be viewed by non-adults with parental guidance) and with only 4 verbal cuts, and that too because they are blatantly abusive towards women.
According to sources close to the film, the Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) was deeply impressed by the film’s commitment to projecting the urban Indian woman’s predicament in a patriarchal society where men feel it is their birth right to violate women emotionally, verbally and physically.
In an unprecedented and radical change from the norm, the CBFC has allowed many scenes of violence against women because it was felt that the hard hitting content was not gratuitous in Pink.
“The censor board asked for just four verbal cuts in Pink, all referring to women in a derogatory manner. These 4 cuts are ‘Phaad de unki’, ‘Randi’, ‘Bitch’ and ‘Saali’. The CBFC allowed all the rest of the strong violent content to remain.”
Says producer Shoojit Sircar, “I am so glad the CBFC understood the context of the violence. We are very happy with the way the censor board has treated Pink. Come to think of it, the CBFC has always been empathetic to my films, right from Vicky Donor which was about the then-shocking and taboo subject of sperm donation. The CBFC had not asked for a single cut. They have always understood the relevance of my film’s subject. I’ve no complaints against the censor board.”
While refusing to comment on the content and cuts of specific films, CBFC’s chairperson Pahlaj Nihlani says, “This year we’ve noticed a trend towards hard hitting socially relevant subjects in Hindi cinema. We are willing to view such film, especially those pertaining to women’s empowerment with care and leniency.”
Nihlani cites the examples of the two forthcoming female-centric dramas Akira and Pink. “They are dark powerful films with hard hitting content. Normally they would be granted ‘Adult’ certificates. But we’ve given them ‘UA’ certificates because we at the CBFC feel pre-adult audiences, kids teenagers and adolescents, need to know what dangers awaits them outside their homes. Akira has a very strong message on self-defence for women. And Pink says men need to be taught from their childhood to respect women that if women are expected to dress and behave decently men should also be conditioned to respect women unconditionally.”