Baahubali 2
Subhash K Jha (DNA; May 16, 2017)

S S Rajamouli’s mythological epic Baahubali is making box-office history across the world. In Singapore the film gets a severely limited audience.

And with reason. The Singapore censor board has granted Baahubali 2 : The Conclusion an ‘NC16’ certification, which means the film is not accessible to any viewership under the age of 16.

Says Pahlaj Nihalani, chairperson, Central Board of Film Certification, “We granted Baahubali 2 : The Conclusion a ‘U/A’ with virtually no cuts. In Singapore, they found Baahubali too violent. The war scenes, specially of soldiers being beheaded, were taken to be excessively gruesome by their censor board. In many countries of Asia and Europe more Bollywood films get ‘A’ certificate than we do in India.”

Nihalani admits this discrepancy has to partly do with cultural and partly with practical reasons. “Our mythology and religious scriptures have a lot of violent images of rakshasas being beheaded, etc. So, our children grow up hearing these tales of violence. They are not scared by mythological mayhem. Also, in India censorship is about pacifying sentiments rather than doing the right things. If we cut one shot of a beheading we are branded anti-religious. If we shorten the duration of a kiss we are prudes. And if we delete a shot of boy masturbating another boy (in Moonlight) we are branded homophobic.”