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Archives for : Cinema

Open letter – Dear Pahlaj Nihalani, You Were Clearly Born Out Of Photosynthesis, Not Intercourse!

CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani just defied all logic in his recent urge to cut the word ‘intercourse’ from SRK and Anushka starrer Imtiaz Ali’s next, Jab Harry Met Sejal.

In one of the trailers of Jab Harry Met Sejal, Anushka Sharma talks about ‘intercourse’, as she tells him that just in case they end up having a sexual intercourse, there won’t be any legal complications in an indemnity bond she hands over to him.

Dear Pahlaj Nihalani, You Were Clearly Born Out Of Photosynthesis, Not Intercourse!

In an interview to The Quint, CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani said, “We have granted a U/A to the trailer on the condition of deletion of the dialogue about the intercourse…But they have not come back to us with the deletion. So in principle, the trailer has not been passed yet.”

While sex is a more commonly and casually used term in general, intercourse is a more technical and scientifically used term among educated classes. Here’s a basic definition of ‘intercourse’ that he could have simply entered into Google search!

Dear Pahlaj Nihalani, You Were Clearly Born Out Of Photosynthesis, Not Intercourse!

In the past, Mr. Nahalani has objected to the middle finger shown in the poster of ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’. He told Hindustan Times, “We’ve taken note of the poster. Showing the middle finger is impolite in any society. And it should be discouraged. I don’t think disapproving of this obscene gesture would be considered primitive or regressive in any society, except maybe in ours. We love to show our middle finger at anyone who champions sobriety and grace in our conduct.” He also added, “We at the CBFC would rather do our jobs honestly than compete for the honour of being cool and trendy.”

Dear Pahlaj Nihalani, You Were Clearly Born Out Of Photosynthesis, Not Intercourse!

Earlier, our Queen aka Kangana Ranaut spoke about how the Censor Board of Film Certification blurred a bra in her iconic movie Queen. TCBFC’s nonsensical cuts also axed Baar Baar Dekho. Apparently, a scene where Katrina’s bra was showing and the mention of Savita Bhabhi didn’t go down well with the board and they decided to chop it off!

Kangana once said that a woman’s bra is not a danger to society, and clearly, intercourse also doesn’t pose any danger to the society. That’s how people are born Mr. Nahalani. Or, are they born out of photosynthesis?

Watch the trailer of Jab Harry Met Sejal which talks about intercourse here.

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Pahlaj Nihalani has Lost it – CBFC demands 1 lakh votes to clear Jab Harry Met Sejal promo!

Jab Harry Met Sejal-CBFC-intercourse-1lakh-votes
Photo Credit:Instagram

Nihalani-led Censor Board has been constantly under the scanner for its weird cuts and demands! CBFC Chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani once again was at the receiving end of backlash after he asked the makers of Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma‘s upcoming film to remove the word ‘intercourse’. In an apparent open challenge, Nihalani said in an exclusive interview to Mirror Now, that he shall clear the promos of ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ if 1 lakh votes favour the word be kept.

The Central Board of Film Certification had objected to the promos being aired on TV channels unless the word is deleted from it.

In an interview with Mirror Now, Nihalani said, “If you take the voting from the public, I definitely promise you that I’ll clear this word from the picture as well as the promo. You should take the voting from the public… 1 lac.”

: Get 1 Lakh votes, I will clear & trailer, says CBFC Chief Pahlaj Nihalani @FayeDSouza

Looks like Nihalani has King Khan and Anushka Sharma’s fan following clearly underestimated. While the CBFC Chief is pretty impressed (with himself) for having introduced a new thing for a film to get certification, little does he know what he has asked for! If we combine SRK and Anushka’s following ONLY on Twitter, 25.6 million (SRK) + 10.5 million (Anushka), it adds up to 36.1 million! While Imtiaz Ali’s film might be able to get a green signal quite easily assuming Shah Rukh and Anushka’s fans go blazing guns in support, but in the long run, the move may not prove beneficial for small budget films.

If this new spontaneous way of certifying a film is brought into effect, the smaller fishes might land in troubled waters, owing to their might and influence!

To cast your vote, check out this tweet:

Is ‘Intercourse’ acceptable? Pahlaj Nihalani asks @MirrorNow for 1 lakh votes to clear @iamsrk


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Trying to crowdfund her filmmaking course, this Chennai-based student was abused online #WTFnews

In the last two weeks Juhi has been told to become a prostitute, to offer sexual favours at Marina beach and to stop begging.

In the last two weeks, 25-year-old Juhi Sharma, has been told to become a prostitute, to offer sexual favours at Marina beach and to stop begging by anonymous internet users. Her only ‘crime’ – trying to raise funds to study movie direction at a premier institute in New York.

On April 11, this cinematographer – who has worked with brands such as Flipkart, Club Mahindra and TI Cycles – got an acceptance letter from her dream institute. She has been selected for a three-year Masters programme in Directing at the Brooklyn College in New York.

She was offered a partial scholarship but it will cover her tuition, living expenses and supplies for less than four months. When Juhi approached banks in the city for loans, she was turned away because they don’t support ‘cinema’.

“I climbed up and down the stairs of so many banks – HDFC, ICICI, Andhra bank and even SBI but they all turned me down,” says Juhi. ” These banks that give thousands of loans for students doing their MBA and MS degrees said they can’t support loans for cinema,” she says.

With most of April and the beginning of May spent attempting to get a bank loan, Juhi was left with very limited options and turned to crowdfunding. “Crowdfunding is a beautiful platform where those who can afford to will help you in some small way,” says Juhi. “I am not begging here for money. I am telling you what I have done so far. You can judge my potential and decide if you want to contribute.”

However, the reaction she received from some quarters was completely unexpected. While many people understandably questioned why they should contribute towards Juhi’s education when there are other more ‘deserving’ causes, some internet users turned downright nasty.

“I have been trolled so badly for this and been through such a harrowing experience. People think I am a spoiled rich brat. But why would I come here and ask for money if I could afford it?” asks Juhi.

Although Juhi has been working for a few years now, a series of unfortunate events have made it impossible for her to pay her own way through the course. To begin with, Juhi is currently the only earning member in her family.

“The business that my mother was running failed, following which my parents split. My father is currently unemployed as well. We are already paying off a personal loan we took after mortgaging our home. The money was used for the business but it didn’t work out,” says Juhi.

Juhi had managed to save about Rs 3 lakh, but all of her savings were spent in the past year. “We discovered that my 15-year-old sister was diabetic. She had to be pulled out of a regular school and put into an open institution. It is a great place for her, but the fee was over Rs 2.5 lakh and I had to foot the bill,” she says.

However, says Juhi, her enthusiasm has not been quelled, and she aims to learn direction in order to make better movies, ‘with values that children in the society actually need to learn’.

“Today, heroes are these macho men who wink at a woman to woo her. If she does not respond he stalks her till she gives in. This is the story we tell children in our society,” she says. “I want to learn direction because I need to understand how to tell a story well and this course offers me some of the best faculty and resources. I want to give back to this society by making movies that will make a difference,” she adds.

Juhi, has set a target amount of $18,000 and raised only $5,000 so far. Even if she does achieve her target, it will only cover her basic expenses for the first four months. “But that is alright. I will start working and taking up projects the minute I get there. I will earn the rest of the money myself,” she says.

With her VISA interview scheduled on June 29, Juhi has very little time to make her dreams come true.

Right now, she is working on a children’s film about a young boy who puts all his efforts towards saving money to buy a single red balloon, that he really wants. Juhi laughs about how the film seems so similar to her own situation, and adds, “And do you know what, he finally manages to get the balloon.”

If you want to contribute, click here.

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Documentary Filmmakers move HC after films not allowed to be screened in Kerala Fest

Three documentaries — The Unbearable Being of Lightness, March March March and In The Shade of Fallen Chinar — haven’t been granted permission to be screened.

WORLD CINEMA Updated: Jun 16, 2017 13:52 IST

Indo Asian News Service, Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala Festival
Three filmmakers whose films have been denied permission said they are deeply disturbed by these attempts to restrict artistic voices.

Three filmmakers whose films, including on the Rohith Vemula suicide and the JNU protests, were denied permission to be screened at the International Documentary Short Film Festival (IDSFFK) have approached the Kerala High Court.

The 10th installment of the IDSFFK that begins on Friday will continue till June 20.

Speaking to IANS, an official working with the organising committee of the festival said their petitions have been filed and the matter is coming up before the court on Friday.

“Seeking legal redress is the only way out for them as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had denied permission and hence we can do nothing about it,” said the official, who did not wish to be identified.

The three films include The Unbearable Being of Lightness, a 45-minute documentary about Hyderabad University Rohith Vemula’s suicide in 2016, March March March, a 19-minute film on the Jawaharlal Nehru University protests, and In The Shade of Fallen Chinar, a 16-minute short film that shows the lives of a group of young Kashmiri artists who are university students.

The five-day festival will showcase 210 films, of which around 170 do not have a certificate from the censor board. However, all of them, barring these three, got the Information and Broadcasting Ministry nod for screening.

In a related development, around 160 filmmakers from various parts of the country have come out in support of the three filmmakers and written to the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu to intervene and give them permission for screening.

The filmmakers said they are deeply disturbed by these attempts to restrict artistic voices. “We cannot support actions that deprive audiences of meaningful cinema and endanger the democratic values of our country,” they said.

“We unequivocally condemn this action by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and lend our unqualified support to IDSFFK and the filmmakers who are being prevented from screening their films. We urge the ministry to immediately issue an exemption letter to the three films and ensure that films at festivals do not face arbitrary censorship in future.”

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Modi has no respect for Constitution: Directors react to I&B film ban in Kerala

Two of the three films denied clearance

Starting 16 June, Thiruvananthapuram will host the five-day International Documentary Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK). For its decade celebration, the festival has a diverse line-up of over 200 films. But if the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has its way, this line-up will be short of three films.

Three documentaries – The Unbearable Being of Lightness (on Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula‘s suicide), March March March (which chronicles student protests at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)), and In The Shade of Fallen Chinar (which tells the story of Kashmiri university students) – have been denied permission for screening by the I&B Ministry.

Films that are not granted a Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) certificate, require this exemption for film festival screenings. Interestingly, of the 210 films IDSFFK planned to screen this year, 170 didn’t have CBFC certificates. So, why were these three films singled out?

‘There are certain issues mentioned in the guidelines‘ — I&B Ministry

According to the director of I&B film’s wing, the films flouted certain guidelines. “We have certain guidelines available on our website. If there’s a film that doesn’t fall under our guidelines, we can’t give it permission,” director Girish Chand Aron tells Catch.

“There are certain issues mentioned in the guidelines, and on the basis of that, these films have not been allowed exemption,” he adds, choosing to not elaborate on these “issues”.


Shawn Sebastian, who co-directed In The Shade of Fallen Chinar, has never heard of these guidelines.

“This is the first time I’ve heard the ministry saying this is outside of their guidelines. And we were not informed about any guidelines.

“At a film festival, the selection should ideally be done by the jury. And we have an eminent jury, and they wouldn’t take a film that flouted ministry guidelines,” he tells Catch.

“So, a screening which has some value, some merit has already happened, and this is an external overreach beyond that. We are actually fighting that,” he adds.

Sebastian has taken the matter to Kerala High Court “for interim relief”, and since the matter is subjudice, he chooses to not comment on the proceedings. Instead, he talks about the larger problem of why things like this happen.

‘These are all attempts to stifle an alternate narrative’ — Shawn Sebastian

“If you look at the films, all of them deal with recent developments that put the government on the back foot. So these are all attempts to stifle an alternate narrative, so that the ruling dispensation can mould it into a homogenous narrative.

“I think the seriousness of the issue lies in the fact that an external [authority] is coming into a state-level film festival. This is one of the premier documentary film festivals in the country.”

Festival director Kamal made a similar observation when the ban was ordered, terming the situation a “cultural emergency”. To that, Sebastian says, “We’re really glad to get support from the festival committee. Even Kerala’s culture minister asked why should the government get scared when contemporary issues are made into films.

“We’re getting immense support from the fraternity in Kerala, from directors, from people approaching [us] saying they want to screen the film in their capacity.”


Sebastian and the other concerned filmmakers do indeed have a lot of support pouring in from the industry.

“We will promote these films extensively in Kerala, let Narendra Modi come and stop it. We don’t need a PM’s permission on what films we should see,” film director KP Sasi tells Catch.

“Narendra Modi is a stuntman sitting at the post of Prime Minister. He has no respect for the Indian Constitution. Where’s the freedom of expression in this country?” he asks.

‘I can guarantee you that in Kerala these three films will be shown extensively’ — KP Sasi

Calling the I&B’s move “an insult to the creative, an insult to writers, poets, social activists, everyone,” Sasi says, “I can guarantee you that in Kerala these three films will be shown extensively. It is good that it’s banned, everybody will see it. I must thank Narendra Modi for that.”

Challenging the PM, Sasi adds, “They could not stop our food culture in Kerala, they can’t stop our viewing, production or reading, writing culture. No Narendra Modi, no BJP can do that. I say that as a Keralite.”


Nakul Singh Sawhney, maker of the controversial documentary Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai, has faced this problem of checks and stops at every juncture.

Goverment ‘ashamed of its tenure’, suggest Nakul Singh Sawhney

Speaking to Catch, he talks about how intolerant our government is of “dissent”. “The point is, the government, like any other authoritarian government, is intolerant of any kind of dissent or criticism, because, clearly, it’s ashamed of its tenure,” he says.

“There’s a standard technique by which they’re operating. Either they’d stop at the censor level (films like The Battle Battle of Benares, En Dino Muzaffarnagar), or they won’t give an exemption certificate, like here, and if they’re screened, you send your storm troopers. You send your goondas from the ABVP or the Bajrang Dal.

“Look at the idiots sitting at CBFC. For this film, Lipstick Under My Burkha, they said something as obnoxious as ‘lady-oriented film’. So what are you expecting?” he asks.

Talking about the I&B Ministry in specific, he points out the hypocrisy in the ministry having committed to do away with CBFC censorship. “In fact,” he adds, “even the court had said that CBFC should certify not censor during Udta Punjab [case].”

Further highlighting that the ministry is ignoring what it should focus on, he says, “Look at Doordarshan, it’s in shambles. It was one of the best nationalised entertainment channels in the world at one time. It was producing epic serials at one time, look at what has happened to it.”

Filmmaker Sanjay Kak busts some myths, highlighting how wrong it is to censor films from festivals, the one place they have the right to be screened.

‘The attempt is to choke, not three films, but the issues themselves’ — Sanjay Kak

“First things first: film festivals have been exempted from censor clearance by the very same I&B Ministry that now seeks to axe these films.

“All that the festivals are required to do is provide a list of the selected films, with a synopsis, and the names of a selection committee that found these films appropriate for screening… So it’s a bit of an obvious joke, isn’t it?” he tells Catch.

Calling out the problem with the attempt itself, Kak says, “The attempt is to choke, not three films – you can be sure that many more people will get to see these films now – but the issues themselves. That is both ridiculous, and unachievable.

“But the attempt is worrying. It reminds us how every little bit of oxygen is being sought to be sucked out of our cultural environment by the Government, leaving no space for dissent, argument, or even disagreement.”


Filmmaker Anand Patwardhan speaks to Catch from the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, where he’s a part of the jury.

Sheffield, interestingly, is a space where this sort of a clampdown on films would never be acceptable. And perhaps, that’s India’s shame.

“It is completely unacceptable for films to be banned from a festival because they don’t have a certificate,” says Patwardhan, adding, “In fact, we’ve fought on that issue in 2004, [when] the Mumbai International Film Festival tried to impose that Indian films would have to be censored, while foreign films would be exempt.

“So we protested against that, boycotted that festival and did a parallel festival. It was called Vikalp and it was very successful, more than the Mumbai festival. Since then, the Mumbai festival has withdrawn the clause.”

‘People who killed Mahatma Gandhi are running the country, in his name’ — Anand Patwardhan

In Kerala though, it’s different, he acknowledges. “It’s not the festival but the Central government doing it. But the point is, wherever some films are censored, no film should be screened. All films should voluntarily withdraw from festivals where some films are censored.”

Calling a ban on films at festivals a “rise of fascism and growing intolerance”, Patwardhan points out, “At a film festival, all films are exempt from censorship, and that is the norm followed internationally.”

Commenting on it being called a “cultural emergency”, Patwardhan says, “This is worse than an emergency, because during Emergency everyone knew there is an Emergency.

“In this country, right now, it’s a complete takeover by one clique. The people who killed Mahatma Gandhi are running the country, in his name. In the name of Ambedkar, by those who are diametrically opposed to every policy of Ambedkar’s.”

“They’re appropriating the very people who would’ve fought them tooth and nail.”

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BANNED screening of films on Rohith Vemula, JNU,  Kashmir Valley

The festival, which begins on June 16, is organised by the Kerala State Chalachithra Academy, a body under the state government’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

vemula movie, rohith vemula movie, I&B, Rohith Vemula, Rohith Vemula suicide, dalit suicide, hyderabad dalit suicide, JNU, JNU protest, kashmir unrest, kashmir student protest, censor, censorboard, censor certificate, indian express news, india newsRohith Vemula committed suicide on January 17.The union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has denied censor exemption to three documentaries, based on recent national controversies, for screening at the upcoming International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala.

The festival, which begins on June 16, is organised by the Kerala State Chalachithra Academy, a body under the state government’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

Films screened at film festivals do not require a certificate from the Censor Board, but they must have a censor exemption certificate from the Ministry. Without censor exemption, no documentary or feature film can be screened at a festival.

The films denied screening at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala are The Unbearable Being of Lightness (based on Rohith Vemula’s suicide), In the shade of Fallen Chinar (on the unrest in Kashmir), and March, March, March (based on the student agitation at JNU).

Academy chairman Kamal said they had sent all 200-odd films to the Ministry seeking censor exemption. “All the films, except these three, got exemption. The Ministry hasn’t cited any reason for denying censor exemption for these films, which are based on socially relevant themes. I think these films were denied screening permission because they deal with intolerance in the country. We have moved an appeal, asking the Ministry to consider the plea seeking censor exemption again. We are yet to get a reply,” Kamal said.

The incident showed that a “cultural emergency” was prevailing in the country, Kamal said. “We are going through an undeclared emergency. It is a time when the rulers decide what we should eat, what we should wear and what we should talk about,” he said.

During the International Film Festival of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram last year, Kamal had faced the ire of the Sangh Parivar after police picked up delegates who had failed to stand up for the national anthem.

Calls and messages to the Secretary, Information and Broadcasting Ministry, went unanswered.

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It’s a shame casteist, feudal, vigilante Baahubali is India’s biggest film

The notion of having been born with extraordinary talent is purely monarchical propaganda peddled by royalty, devoid of any scientific basis.


Baahubali 2 has broken all box-office records in recent memory. A week after the movie was released, crowds continue to pour into halls and multiplexes across the nation.

The franchise’s brave experimentation with grandeur and world-class cinematography has paid rich dividends.

But the reason the movie has struck a chord with the audience is more than merely an appreciation for a movie well made, it has catapulted Baahubali to the pedestal of the icon who has stolen hearts, with the movie leaving no stone unturned in his heroic portrayal. The audience has responded with unrestrained adulation.

Who will not have a soft corner for a movie with a hero who has courage, humility, kindness, intelligence, et al? Also a Telugu epic movie receiving such national acclaim has been met with much admiration.

bbaahu_050517112831.jpgThe movie, in various instances, portrays in positive light those who abide by the ‘kshatriya dharma’. 

Yet, as I sat watching the awestruck audiences identifying with Baahubali, I could not but help notice audiences found almost nothing problematic with the glorification of the casteist, monarchical, violent and somewhat patriarchal mentality.

Casteism celebrated

The movie, in various instances, portrays in positive light those who abide by the “kshatriya dharma”.

Baahubali also makes the audience view with awe the kshatriya pride of its protagonist. Moreover, the slavery of Katappa and his blind devotion are casteist to the core.

So it was disturbing when Katappa adhering to an unfair contract he was subjected to was shown as a virtuous act.

baahubali_050517112840.jpgBaahubali also sees the emergence of strong female characters, who ultimately end up playing second fiddle to their male counterparts. 

The way the audience cheered such acts and “morals” only reveals what we all fear but rarely acknowledge: that just digging a little deeper inside our supposed modernity would expose the entrenched casteist mindset and identification exercises we practise.

Glorifying violence and vigilante justice

When Baahubali severs the head of the army chief who assaulted his wife and we identify with his action, one understands why cow vigilantes, those advocating retaliatory beheading of rival army soldiers, or the encounter killings of suspects, find traction and validation in our society.

We have always preferred a hero who provides quick fixes over the kind who arrive at systematic solutions with patience, perseverance and vision.

We sanction medieval modes of inhumane, irreversible and disproportionate punishment such as beheading — be it at the hands of Baahubali in a movie, or that authorised by state agencies in real life.

Also, the modern system of justice is based on a nuanced understanding of the human mind, where it is recognised that none of us is pure evil or an epitome of virtue, and hence the good that is inside each one of us must be given a second chance.

Yet, a large section of our society continues to adhere to the simplistic and dangerous notion of being seen as black or white as does the movie, which tries to portray Baahubali as someone with unbridled virtue and his archenemy Bhallala Dev as overly vicious.

Monarchical morality still has traction

The movie portrays Baahubali as a lord gifted with extraordinary superhuman skills, just as his child.

The system of monarchy propagated the beliefs that royal blood gave people special attributes and that they possessed extraordinary skills — exactly as the movie shows with Baahubali, his wife and their son.

This notion of having been born with extraordinary talent is purely monarchical propaganda peddled by royalty, which is devoid any scientific basis.

Then again, the monarchical concept of the natural right to rule or the kings’ right to make arbitrary decisions and his subjects’ obligations to adhere to them is easily accepted, even celebrated by the audience.

No wonder then that our elected representatives still rule as if they were a different, entitled species.

katappa_050517113117.jpgThe slavery of Katappa and his blind devotion are casteist to the core.

The opaqueness, the arbitrariness that is so definitive of the way our institutions function can, perhaps, in part be due to the hold of monarchical ideas over the minds of most of us.

Baahubali also sees the emergence of strong female characters, who ultimately end up playing second fiddle to their male counterparts.

In seeking to not celebrate casteism, vigilantism or the monarchical attitude of past heroes or characters, it may seem that I wonder if — in the past — when the society had regressive elements adhered by the people of the time, we should vilify those people, even the heroes of those times.

To the contrary, I believe one must not demean them by condoning or celebrating their regressive traits; rather, we should acknowledge what they did wrong even as we celebrate the notable shades of their character.

But instead of the acknowledgement, the identification and celebration of such backward, medieval values makes Baahubali a strong commentary on our incomplete transition to being a modern republic.

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Singer Ankit Tiwari’s rape case reopens! Victim says she was ‘forced to withdraw #Vaw

I want my case against Ankit Tiwari to be reopened: Complainant
After music composer-singer Ankit Tiwari was acquitted of rape charges recently, the complainant, who turned hostile, says she will now move the High Court

Barely six days after the Mumbai sessions acquitted court composersinger Ankit Tiwari of rape charges levelled by a woman in March 2014, the latter has decided to move the Bombay High Court to reopen the case. Ankit was acquitted on April 27 after the complainant turned hostile and the prosecution failed to gather enough evidence against him. Apparently , the singer and his brother Ankur’s statements to the media after their acquittal has irked her.The complainant says, “I decided to withdraw the case after fighting for almost a year, as Ankit and his family pleaded saying that it was affecting his career. My family and husband (she got married in 2015) were pressured by them and their lawyer, Neeraj Gupta. I agreed and in return, asked them to apologise to my parents, who were insulted by them. I also got it in writing that they would never give a statement -direct or indirect -against me or on the case once they were acquitted, failing which I would be free to initiate any legal action I deem fit. They have not only tried to tarnish my image by claiming that they are innocent, but have also gone all out to prove that the case was false.“

Ask her if she has been paid any monetary compensation and she replies, “I haven’t been paid a single penny . I withdrew the case with good intent, but their behaviour has angered me. I have now decided to take the case ahead. I will file a re-petition before the High Court in a week to reopen the case. I have enough proof to establish my case.“

The woman, who Ankit was allegedly dating then, had filed a case against him in March 2014 for sexually assaulting her several times between October 2012 and December 2013 after promising to marry her. She had also filed a case against Ankur for threatening her. Ankit was subsequently arrested by the Mumbai Police on May 8, 2014 and later let out on bail.

Recalling the event, she says, “He saw me at an event and asked an acquaintance for my number. He developed a liking for me and we met a few times as friends. When I invited him to my place on my sister’s birthday, he offered me a drink and had sex with me. It wasn’t consensual the first time. When I confronted him, he promised to marry me. In fact, my family even met his parents in his hometown Kanpur, but were humiliated by them. Soon after, Ankit threatened me saying that he will circulate an intimate video clip of me with him. His brother also threatened me.“

She further added that Ankit and his family have tried to taint her image and also stated that the case filed was a false one. This piqued her and as a result, she will now be taking the matter to the higher court. “I will file a re-petition before the High Court in a week to reopen the case. I have enough proof to establish my case, ” she said.


Speaking to another media portal, she said, ” When Ankit was nothing I supported him. I was at that time VP of one international company and earned like anything. He begged me and for his career I let it go. However now all the limits are crossed and I will take the case forward .”


Now, that’s some twisted tale of betrayal and allegations.

When contacted, Ankit directed us to his lawyer Rizwan Merchant, who remained unavailable till the time of going to press.


We spoke to Advocate Yusuf Iqbal Yusuf to understand if a complainant can approach a higher court after turning hostile and here’s what he had to say: “Under Indian laws, seri ous offences such as rape, murder and kidnapping are offences against the State. Therefore, once an FIR is registered on the complaint of a victimfirst informantwitness, the State becomes the Prosecutor and the victimfirst informant becomes one of the witnesses. During a criminal trial, the evidence of the witness is recorded. It is the bounden duty of the witness to speak the truth since the evidence is recorded under oath. If a witness is untruthful, then heshe becomes liable to be prosecuted for perjury . One of the recent high-profile cases was the Jessica Lall murder case where several witnesses turned hostile and the Delhi High Court directed that they should be prosecuted. Sections 191 to 205 and also 213 and 214 of the Indian Penal Code deal with giving false evidence and screening of offenders. If the survivor was under any threat or subjected to intimidation, then she would be excused if she can show such threat and if she comes forward and gives truthful evidence now.However, if there was any agreement or understanding pursuant to which she turned hostile, then she would face prosecution for giving false evidence. On the other hand, if the new evidence which she comes forward with is credible, then the acquittal of Ankit Tiwari could be set aside.“

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India – Censor Board is a regressive, illogical and patriarchal organisation

Director Alankrita Shrivastava is having the last laugh.
Her film, Lipstick Under My Burkha, denied certification by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on the grounds that the film was `lady oriented’, has been cleared by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) with an ` A ‘ certificate, besides `some voluntary and some additional cuts and deletions’. While the Censor Board had reservations about the film, owing to its sexual scenes and abusive language, the Tribunal added that the former misdirected themselves in denying certification on the ground that the story of the film is womenoriented. It further noted that there cannot be any embargo on a film being women-centric or containing sexual fantasies and expression of the inner desires of women.Shrivastava, upbeat about this development, says, “It is a vindication and I feel it’s not just a victory for me but a victory for women’s voices across the country . I feel everyone was battling alongside me. It’s a clear statement that no patriarchal body can pull us down and no one can silence us. We should continue to tell our stories. No matter how hard it is, if we don’t claim our freedom then nobody else can do it for us.“

The director, who has been running from pillar to post for the past four months for the film’s certification, draws attention to the financial strain a producer faces during such situations and doesn’t shy away from terming the CBFC a regressive body .She says, “I was shocked and found the denial of certification ridiculous.It became clear to me that the CBFC is a regressive, illogical and patriarchal organisation. I felt that they were working in a manner which would systematically perpetuate patriarchy .I also felt that they had an agenda in silencing women’s voices. If we say that it’s a free and democratic country and that we have gender equality , then we really need to claim our freedom.Censorship doesn’t have a place in our democratic society .“

Shrivastava, however, feels that the FCAT’s decision is fair and says, “They haven’t asked us to cut anything that affects the story nor have they asked us to remove any scenes. They have asked us to reduce a few seconds of some intimate scenes.If I had felt that the cuts would dilute the story or interfere with the essence or pulse of the film, I wouldn’t have accepted them. They have been respectful of my intentions as a filmmaker.“

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Film Tribunal’s Slap to Censor Board – Give ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ an A certificate



The Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) has recommended an adult certification for the film ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ which explores women’s sexuality.

The film hit headlines after the Central Board Film Certification (CBFC) headed by Pahlaj Nihalani refused it certification for its “sexual content, abusive words and audio pornography”.

Trashing the arguments by the CBFC, the FCAT has asked for the film to be granted an ‘A’ certificate with “voluntary and some additional cuts and deletions”. It has asked the film makers to reduce the duration of sex scenes. The FCAT is the tribunal that hears the appeals filed by film makers or producers who are aggrieved by the CBFC’s orders.

Amid an uproar against censorship, Nihalani had refused to certify the film that stars Konkona Sen Sharma and Ratna Pathak, calling it “lady-oriented” and a “fantasy above life”.

The FCAT has found no merit in the reasoning that certification had to be denied on the ground of “women in the film shown in bad light particularly targeting women of certain community which might hurt sentiments.”

In a sharply worded judgment, the FACT has said the examining committee and revising committee of the CBFC have “misdirected themselves in denying certification on the ground that the story of the film is women oriented”.

The makers in their appeal had asserted that the theme of the film is about “women claiming their rights over their body, their ideas, decisions, aspirations and fulfilment of their dreams” and promotes “emancipation and assertion of women rights, culminating in their liberation and empowerment”.

The FCAT observed that CBFC “misdirected them selves in denying certification on the ground that the story of the film is women oriented. There cannot be any embargo on a film being women oriented or containing sexual fantasies and expression of the inner desires of women”, it reiterated.

“As a matter of general approach if the aspect of sexual desires and their expression is sensitively handled without bringing coarseness, vulgarity or obscenity, pandering prurient tendencies, then it is not to be disallowed,” the statement read, adding, “We cannot lose sight that there is a thin line between creative and artistic expression being depicted in a natural sex scene. The same can be obliterated if the sexual scenes are continued for a long duration which may not be necessary or integral to the film. Besides, it would then infringe the guidelines requiring such scenes to be kept to the minimum.”

It has directed some voluntary cuts or reduction in the length of the sex scenes. In addition to the above, some cuts, which the FCAT felt were necessary, particularly in the length of the scenes, were so directed.

Headed by former judge Justice Manmohan Sarin, the FCAT, which was approached by the film’s makers Alankrita Srivastava and Prakash Jha, has ruled that if a film handles aspect of sexual desires and their expression sensitively without coarseness, vulgarity or obscenity, pandering prurient tendencies, then certification cannot be disallowed.

“The FCAT found that there was no violation of guidelines as neither the visuals nor the dialogues are contemptuous of racial, religious or other groups. There was no targeting of women of certain community or religion,” the order said.

After the film makers offered voluntary cuts or reduction in the length of the sex scenes; it has suggested reductions and deletions to be carried out to reduce the sex scenes “without affecting in any manner the projection and substance of the scene or in any manner affecting the basic film.”

On the use of abusive and cuss words, the FCAT has noted that these are integral and germane to the characters and the story.

The film featuring Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, Plabita Borthakur and Aahana Kumra, chronicles the secret lives of four women of different ages in a small town in India as they search for different kinds of freedom.

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