The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) justified its decision to demand 20 cuts in the film Rangeela Raja, written and produced by former chairman Pahlaj Nihalani, in court on Wednesday.
“In a social milieu where we are taking strong actions on the objectification of women, crimes against women, the examining committee of the CBFC has very responsibly suggested the modifications in the film in public interest,” stated an affidavit filed by the board in Bombay high court (HC).
Nihalani, who is best known for brutally censoring films, was not present to answer on the same. Usually on grounds of obscenity and vulgarity, during his tenure as CBFC chief between 2015 and 2017 he caused many troubles for the filmmakers. At some point he also started trending in top trolls list with a hashtag #SanskaariCBFC.
It's strange to see that the one who caused many troubles for movies like 'Udta Punjab' by calling it a disturbing film, is coming out with a movie which is objectifying women. The issue came to light just after women-centric issues such as pay discrepancy in Bollywood and MeToo movement took a hype in the country.
On Wednesday, the CBFC filed an affidavit in HC, stating the board had taken strong objection to how Rangeela Raja glorifies violence and objectified women through the actions of its hero, “who is shown as having no repentance of his actions and crimes, including rape, adultery and treating women as a commodity for his sensual pleasures.”
Aside from glorifying the hero molesting young women, Rangeela Raja contains numerous scenes in which male characters discuss women in obscene terms, said the CBFC.
Among the recommended cuts are dialogues like one in which a woman is referred to as “kadak ghevar” (a bold woman) and another in which the hero, after a raping a woman, refers to the rape as “swadisht khana” (delicious food).
The board also said that the film’s plot effectively praised the hero’s misogyny. Although the climax of the film shows the hero being punished, he goes back to lying to his family and harassing women.
Director Pahlaj Nihalani at a press conference regarding their upcoming film Rangeela Raja in Mumbai.
This return to ‘form’ leads to the comment, “Yeh Raja rangeela tha, rangeela hai, aur rangeela hi rahega (this Raja was randy, is randy and will remain randy).”
Earlier this month, the CBFC had ordered 20 cuts in Rangeela Raja, which stars Govinda and Shakti Kapoor.