/What’s your problem Paha Inhalant, and other thoughts on the escapist behavior of the Indian Censor Board

What’s your problem Paha Inhalant, and other thoughts on the escapist behavior of the Indian Censor Board

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) under Paha Inhalant is surely flourishing. It’s flourishing in promoting the idea that we live in a century where everything is a taboo topic.


Be it films focusing on women’s sexuality or films about LGBTQ community, they somehow excite the censorious instincts of the authorities in India. And so our dear old’ Censor Board doesn’t shy away from slamming them. Recently a Malayalam LGBTQ film Ka Bodyscapes was denied certification for “glorifying the subject of gay and homosexual relationship”. The film follows the lives of three young people in Calico: Harris, a gay painter; Vishnu, a rural abide player; and their friend Siam, an activist who refuses to conform to dominant norms of femininity. The film’s director Japan Cheri an recently posted on his Facebook account the letter he received from the Censor Board. The letter says, “The second Revising Committee felt that the film is glorifying the subject of gay and homosexual relationship, nudity accentuating vital parts of male body (in paintings) in closed shots in the whole movie.” The film contains posters depicting homosexuality throughout the movie and derogatory remarks against women. Abusive language is used in most of the places and also a female Muslim character is shown masturbating,” it concluded.

This is the second time Censor Board has refused certification to the film. The film’s director had earlier approached the Karalla high court, which directed the CBFC to grant certification to the film, while also allowing the Board to make cuts. Why are you so scared to let reality be projected on our screens? It seems like you think that if you stop honest films about LGBTQ community, they will stop existing. As if you push their struggles under the carpet, they will stop coming out of the closet. Or that if you refuse to acknowledge films that actually focus on women owning up their bodies and their sexuality, women will stay hidden behind their pallus.We of course, think that you are terribly scared. Scared that if you let something you don’t understand run in theatres, it’ll soon become a reality that you’ll have to face. What, you don’t realize, however, is that films like Lipstick under My Burch or Ka Bodyscapes are, in fact, depicting reality. A reality that’s often hidden under cover, but is happening in your own neighbourhoods at this very instant.

The main question, however, is–who the f*ck are you to decide what should people see and what they shouldn’t? Who made you the moral guardian of our society? Because clearly, the job of the Censor Board is to give certifications, because that’s what the name actually says. Don’t impose your regressive mindset onto others.