Subhash K Jha (DNA; March 7, 2017)

With Rangoon playing in theatres sans censor certificate and the anti-smoking statutory warning, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC aka the Censor Board) is considering pulling up the makers of the Vishal Bhardwaj film. This came to light after the CFBC received complaints about Rangoon flouting rules. The Board is expected to take legal recourse.

Serious offences
CBFC’s chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani said, “It has been brought to our notice that Rangoon has been playing in theatres across the country and outside India without the censor certificate and without the anti-smoking short films, which are compulsory for all films that show actors smoking and/or drinking. Rangoon had many scenes showing the main leads indulging in serious substance abuse. We asked the makers to put a disclaimer ahead of the opening credits. That disclaimer has gone missing. Now, we have been informed that the anti-smoking films do not play at the beginning and after the intermission. And also that the censor certificate is not flashed at the start, as per law. These are serious offences.”

Investigation on
Adds Pahlaj, “We are taking legal action against the digital operators, to begin with. We would not like to point fingers at anyone else for the lapse at this time. It is the digital operators’ responsibility to play exactly the length that is shown to us and certified by the CBFC. Not a second more or less of footage must be shown in theatres than what we have certified. The exact length of the film that is shown to us and certified by us is mentioned in the censor certificate. If the anti-smoking films have been removed from the beginning and after intermission and if the censor certificate is not being shown in Rangoon, then, the digital operators are screening less footage than what has been approved by the CBFC. It is a serious offence. We are investigating to see how deep the offence goes.”

He further adds, “Maybe some self-appointed intellectuals of our film industry feel it is okay to break the law as long as they can ridicule the jurisdiction of the CBFC.”

Pehle Bhi...
Rangoon director Vishal Bhardwaj had spoken up vehemently against the anti-smoking disclaimers. In 2012, while releasing his film Matroo Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola he had removed the usual mandatory anti-smoking films that are shown twice with all feature films and had replaced it with a humorous song composed especially for the film.