Filmmaker Deepak Tijori has written a letter to the CBFC Chairperson, Sharmila Tagore, recounting the
ordeal that he went through for the clearance of his forthcoming film, Khamoshh.
'I have put in a written complaint to Sharmila-ji about the mental torture and anguish producers are subjected to, in order to get their films cleared and she has promised to look into the matter,' Tijori revealed, adding that he has also asked the Chairperson to take note of the behaviour of the Assistant Regional Officer, Shinde, whose 'reckless and insensitive attitude' cost him heavy losses and several sleepless nights.
According to Tijori, he sought the intervention of the Assistant Regional Officer, when the Examining Committee suggested several cuts in the film, since the Regional Officer, who is a 'far more sensitive man' was on leave.
Among the contentious scenes were a passionate lovemaking scene and a bathing scene picturised on one of the actresses, Rakhi Sawant.
However, Tijori maintains that the cuts were unwarranted considering the fact that the characters in the lovemaking scene were completely covered and the bathing scene, showed a partially clad Rakhi Sawant.
"They asked me to totally cut off this and the other sexual content in the film, though these portions form part of the narrative," Tijori asks. He is also irked by the fact that his film has been awarded an 'A' certificate after the several cuts that have been executed in it.
"It is very obvious that they are giving differential treatment to different producers. How is it that they conveniently passed a bathing scene in Tango Chalie picturized on Nandana Sen, with a U/A certificate for the film? Also, if they can give a U/A certificate to a film like Page 3, which showed child abuse, drugs and sex in abundance, why are they singling me out for this treatment?" he protests.
Tijori is also upset with the endless rounds that he had to make to the CBFC office, before the Assistant Regional Officer, could give him a hearing.
"There were occasions when I had been given an appointment and I would wait for hours together for him to turn up and I would be informed that he had already left for the day. It was a frustrating process of taking appointments that were never meant to materialize. Obviously, the A.R.O. was taking advantage of the fact that I had a deadline to meet for the release of the film. Besides, independent film-makers like us do not have the power to approach the tribunal," he says.
Meanwhile, Sharmila Tagore has promised Tijori to look into the matter and ensure that other producers do not go through a similar experience.
"It can slightly reduce the anguish for other independent film-makers like me. The age old guidelines of 1952 that are in existence in the CBFC norms are no doubt contentious but what is more upsetting is the discriminatory treatment meted out to producers," Tijori quips.