The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief, Pahlaj Nihalani has a lot to gloat about. Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani 2, which was given a lenient U/A certification in India, has been certified with ‘15’ by its British counterpart. This means, in the UK, the movie is fit for consumption only for viewers above the age of 15, whereas in India, children of all ages can watch the movie, provided they are accompanied by adults.
The British Board of Film Certification had mentioned “references to child abuse” and “strong violence.” Pahlaj says, “We did make a note of the strong violence and references to child abuse. But we still decided to go with the UA rather than A (adults only) for Kahaani 2. The reason? Because we feel it addresses powerful issues related to the safety of women and children. We feel the theme of child abuse must be open to children in our society, as they’re easy targets. A strong film like this makes a mature and reasonable statement on women empowerment and child abuse in a responsible way. We’re proud to allow children access to this film.”
Pahlaj also promises winds of change in the working of the board. “We’re looking at a far more liberal policy than earlier; it’s a sign of the changing times. Whether it’s the dark, grim social reality of Kahaani 2, or the casual kissing in Befikre, our policies will try to reflect global changes and trends.”
It also seems like the CBFC has pre-empted Shyam Benegal’s committee, appointed to bring reforms in the board’s workings. Laughs Pahlaj, “I don’t know about that, but yes, we at the CBFC are seriously looking at reforms in the certification policy. At this rate, we may soon even allow pornography with a suitable rating.”