The Central Board of Film Certification (popularly known as the Censor Board), which exists because there are no adults in India who can think for themselves, is being unfairly attacked. I, for one, will not stay silent while this injustice continues. However, I do advise that you stop right here and take this article to someone in the Censor Board and ask them if it is OK to read it.
With that out of the way, here’s what is happening: the board has refused to certify Prakash Jha’s upcoming film Lipstick under my Burkha. I saw the trailer and the movie seems to be about four independent-minded women who have sexual desires sans the objective of having a child/independent of marriage. If only the filmmakers had argued that the movie is fantasy fiction like the Lord of the Rings, then maybe the movie may have made some sense, but they did not do that. More importantly, and this is an act of deceit no one seems to have noticed, the title of the movie is Lipstick under my Burkha.
CBFC refuses to certify Prakash Jha’s film Lipstick Under My Burkha
This was clearly done to fool the Censor Board, because going by the trailer there is more lipstick outside the burkha than inside it, and even the women seem to want to get out of the burkha, or any clothes at all, without appropriate permission from the society/their husbands/boyfriends/fathers/men.
The Censor Board, it must be known, does not take the responsibility of controlling the minds of crores of Indian citizens lightly, and therefore the movie was rejected for the following reason: “The story is lady-oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contanious sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of the society.”
Many people are saying that this line of thinking is regressive but they are wrong. I am yet to read an order of the board, which is this honest, compassionate and forward-thinking. The board bravely calls out the movie for being lady-oriented. Pray, tell me, what is lady-oriented in this country?
Not public spaces, not marriages (dowry, marital rape, viri locality), not employment inside or outside government, not the judiciary, which hardly has any women judges, not the Supreme Court of India, which recently held that women are duty-bound to live with their in-laws, not religion for sure.
Why must such unrealistic ideas be perpetuated? The board also rightly identifies their fantasies as being ‘above life’. This has more depth and wisdom than is apparent at first glance. Firstly, the very idea of women fantasizing is unknown in our society except for a few victims of western culture.
Secondly, it is well-known that women fantasizing about choosing who they want to marry, or forgetting that they are merely a part of someone’s ‘honor’ -— often costs women their life. The board is therefore simply saving lives. The order states that the movie contains sexual scenes. The problem is that the film seems to be about women who want sex without any reasonable goal. They don’t want it to bear a child who will take the name of his/her father forward. They are neither married nor sex workers. Why else would women want to have sex?
Despite rumors to the contrary, Indians know that women don’t masturbate. There are no women who want to have sex just for the sake of sex. No women who want to pick up men, have sex and say thank you, goodbye. (Men do this but women don’t.) Everything that women wear each day of their lives is to either please men or provoke them. Women don’t have a body independent of how it exists in the minds of men. Every aspect of a woman’s life exists for consumption by men. Coming to the board’s beef with women using abuses/expletives, I can’t believe that experienced filmmakers can be this naive.
Women don’t use expletives. Women are expletives. How else would men insult/humiliate each other? There would hardly be any expletives if there were no women (which is something many Indian families tried very hard to achieve — kill before being born, kill immediately after birth, kill after marriage, and so on).
Similarly, women don’t watch pornography; they are the subject of pornography. Thousands of women have been destroyed for these ideas to be clearly understood by the society. I am sure that the board believes that their sacrifice must not be in vain. I leave you with an anecdote that a friend shared, but I obviously did not believe. My friend said she walked into her mother’s room to find her masturbating with a radish. She was shocked, and the first and only word that came out of her was Mooli!
Her mother calmly responded: “Kela naazuk hai, jaldi toot jaata hai.” (The banana is delicate, it breaks very quickly).
This article was first published in Mumbai Mirror