Censor may “cut” another Anurag Kashyap film

NEW DELHI: The controversy over Udta Punjab has barely died down when another Anurag Kashyap production has run in to rough weather. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has refused to certify Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer ‘Haraamkhor’ objecting to its theme which deals with a student-teacher romance. The filmmakers now plan to approach the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal.

The Censor Board has “refused” certification on the grounds that a teacher is a “respectable figure in our society” and the film shows an illicit relationship between a teacher and a teenage student. “There are many filthy dialogues spoken by kids and body gestures of the kids were also found to be objectionable. Kids committing crime etc does not merit any certificate to the film. Hence, ‘refused’ because of its theme itself,” the CBFC letter said. When asked, Kashyap confirmed that the producers were planning to appeal to FCAT against the CBFC decision.

The film, directed by Shlok Sharma, is a love story that revolves around a delicate relationship between a school teacher in a small Gujarati town and his teenage female student. It has been produced by Kashyap and Guneet Monga under the Sikhya Entertainment banner.

Haraamkhor was premiered in the 15th annual New York Indian Film Festival and Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA). Nawazuddin Siddiqui received the best actor award for the film at the New York Indian Film Festival.

Sources said that the board’s examining committee had a problem with the fact that a love affair between a teacher and student was being depicted when teachers are revered in India. Filmmakers pointed out that such themes had been explored in several films earlier and it was disturbing that the board was over-reaching in its functions to sit on judgement over social issues.

CBFC and its chief Pahlaj Nihalani in particular have come under fire recently over attempts to censor the film ‘Udta Punjab’ based on the drug menace in the state. The film was finally cleared for certification after the Bombay HC intervened.