‘Your existence is redundant’, says director Abhishek Sharma in his open letter to Censor Board

In view of the drastic changes in the Censor Board, Abhishek Sharma, the director of comedy films like Tere Bin Laden and The Shaukeens writes an open letter to the Board, tongue-firmly-in-cheek…

Dear Censor Board,

How are you doing? I hope you are recovering well from the sudden internal revamp that was caused by the identity crisis faced by some previous members of yours. I don’t blame them for feeling sidelined as these days a lot of unofficial organisations are doing your job. We have political and religious groups banning films free of cost. We as filmmakers don’t have to pay any processing fees to them, nor do we have to wait in the long queues in order to get moral lessons from these esteemed people. What more, we don’t even have to show them our films. They have a great censory perception (pun intended) as they can decide if a film is bad or dangerous for a society without even viewing it!

They are definitely doing a far better and efficient job of protecting our society from crazy artists than you ever did. From raising objections over factual errors in fictional novels to roasting comedians who dare to roast other comedians, these self-appointed contractors of morality cover the entire spectrum of art and culture. Nowadays even National Governments like that of North Korea and terrorist organisations like Al-Qaeda are contributing magnificently to the cause of firing artists. Well, literally in the case of Al-Qaeda.

In these times your existence has surely become redundant. You clear a film, yet it gets banned (Vishwaroopam). You ban a film, yet it gets released (Messenger of God). What’s the point if no one respects your judgement? This calls for serious action. You should stand up for your exclusive right to defend the immature audience of this country. I suggest you start with banning the act of banning by unauthorised groups or individuals. We as filmmakers prostrate before you to become the sole antagonist in our lives as we dare to exercise our freedom of expression. It will be lot easier to deal with one entity rather than a countless guardians of culture and morality.

However if you can not achieve such an exclusive status, please stop living a pretentious life. You have no reason to exist on tax payer’s money if you can’t be the final authority on what’s good for him and what’s not. In such a scenario you can still survive by being an advisor, a guide. You can just rate films without censoring them and let the people decide if they want to watch them. Don’t worry about us, the filmmakers, as we will still have the political parties, religious heads, rogue governments and trigger happy terrorists to deal with!

Wish you a speedy recovery and intense introspection!

Yours’ Sincerely
Abhishek Sharma
(Censor Survivor)