The Chennai branch of the Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) was recently served a notice by the honourable High Court after a minor pregnant girl told the court that she obtained inspiration from director A. Sarkunam’s 2010 Tamil film Kalavani.
The movie, which starred Vimal and Oviya, is a rural entertainer in which the hero falls in love with a school girl, and about the turn of events when the girl’s family doesn’t approve of their relationship.
Elaborating on the shocking turn of events, the CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani said, “It is true that our representative at the Chennai branch was summoned in the honourable High Court to explain how the film, Kalavani, which has such a detrimental influence on this 13-year old girl was allowed to be passed by the censor board. After this girl eloped to an undisclosed place, it was discovered that the boy had criminal antecedents.
The girl’s parents filed a habeas corpus. She was found recently and produced in court. The honourable judge summoned our CBFC representative to ask how a film like Kalavani could be passed by us.”
In fact, Kalavani was certified by the CBFC as a ‘U’ (for all ages). Asks Nihalani, “What do we do? If we follow the guidelines strictly, we are supposed to stop any film that propagates any idea that could be harmful to society. But if we don’t pass films, we are accused of curbing creative freedom. Either way, the CBFC gets the blame.”
When we contacted Sarkunam, who went on to make the likes of national award-winning film Vaagai Sooda Vaa and Chandi Veeran, he was quite defensive in his stance. “I think blaming my film Kalavani for the incident is completely unnecessary. I don’t wish to comment about the whole issue,” replied the director.