Filmmaker Shyam Benegal, named by the I&B Ministry to head a panel to look into the revamp of the censor board, today said that the film certification body has been no stranger to controversies but there should be frequent review of issues related to censorship.
The 81-year-old National-award winning director said there is no permanent solution to censorship issues.
“Time to time these things happen. (It has been happening) since 1928, when the censor board was first formed and it later on became the film certification board and so on... Time to time, these things need to be looked at. There is no permanent solution to this problem. This is another committee formed by the government,” Benegal told PTI.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley had recently hinted at reformation of the board, which has been mired in controversies off late.
The panel, which also includes filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, adman Piyush Pandey and film critic Bhawana Somaaya, will look into the Cinematograph Act and the functioning of the board and submit its report in two months.
National Film Development Council MD Nina Lath Gupta and Joint Secretary (Films) Sanjay Murthy are also part of the committee.
“The minister spoke to me a couple of days ago. I am yet to know exactly what the proposal is. I was asked whether I would like to be a member of the committee, which is looking into the problems of film certification. This is a committee formed by the government to see how effective, transparent and satisfactory the system is.”
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has become controversy’s favourite child since the appointment of Pahlaj Nihalani as its chairperson.
Asked whether he is confident that the new panel will help the board emerge out of controversies, Benegal said, “It’s not a question of whether something will be controversial. From time to time, things do become controversial and sometimes they don’t.
“... There won’t be any question of permanent solution to it... It’s a continuing thing. There will be more committees even in the future.”
The recommendations of this committee are expected to provide a holistic framework and enable those tasked with the work of certification of films to discharge their responsibilities keeping in view this framework.