When I was in the eighth grade, our school was meant to show us a series of videos on Sex Education. On the day, the screening was to begin the class was in full attendance. While the class eagerly awaited the screening with sheepish smiles, our Moral Science teacher entered the class and grimly notified us that the class on sex Education would happen in our fantasies and we should instead focus on straightening our morality. Had they gone ahead with those screenings, it wouldn’t have taken me four years to learn that sperms were not amoeba like and can’t crawl up one’s navel buttons.
The Center Board of Film Education has been acting quite like my school these days. While restricting the exposure of movies that breach their so called ethical code but mirror reality, they have no qualms in certifying movies that objectify women and also breach their ethical code.
Yesterday CBFC struck again by denying certification to Lipstick under my burqa, an award winning movie because it is “lady oriented” and attempts (read dares) to show their fantasies ‘above life’ by which I assume they mean a woman’s right to sexuality and thinking freely. The regional Director clarifies himself further by notifying us about the cont sexual scenes which I assume must not really feature in the actual lives of the individuals at CBFC. So they have refused to certify it.
Last year, a film which was full of sexual innuendos, umpteen snogging scenes, skimpily clad men and women and a plot that is as blasphemous for sanskari Indians as Mia Khalifa was released with a U/A certification. The difference between the two movies is that Lipstick under my burqa, unlike Befikre, refuses to fall prey to the male gaze. The women in the movie as the trailer depicts resort to take charge of their lives, choosing happiness over suppression and boredom. They don’t molest anyone, do not violate a man’s right and don’t treat men as objects.
I am hopeful that the director of the movie would appeal to the Appellate tribunal and get this much lauded movie released. Unfortunately for CBFC, this bizarre show of double standards would help pique audience interest in the movie.