The certification of films by the CBFC is getting more and more curious. Corruption and delays at the censor board have reached such a point that small producers have even started using duplicate certificates to air films. Producers of music videos, the latest group to erupt over the CBFC mess, are also releasing their videos on Internet platforms that need no certificates. A puritanical board, that vowed to fight abusive language and glorification of drug use in Udta Punjab, is cornered by its own inefficiencies. Its old mindset has become irrelevant in an era when films with U/A certificates are freely shown on TV entertainment channels at all times of the day.
The government too is not helping matters either by sitting on the Shyam Benegal committee report, which suggested that censorship be done away with and a system of certification of suitability for viewing according to age be followed. It appears that those in authority are placing blind faith in CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani, who has run into all kinds of problems with film producers. The fundamental clash lies in the argument whether censorship itself should make way for true certification. In today’s environment, the futility of censorship is exposed constantly.