Cinema has never been solely a medium of entertainment. Something so basic should not need repeating. But the Central Board of Film Certification seems to believe that cinema must operate within the boundaries it mandates. Films addressing social and economic issues, unfortunately, transgress these boundaries often. It’s now the turn of a Telugu film, Sharanam Gachchami, which addresses caste-based reservations. The board’s regional office has refused to issue the certificate needed for public exhibition, noting that the film was “likely to affect public order and disrupt peace”.
Which raises the question: whatever happened to the Shyam Benegal committee on film certification’s report? Submitted last year, it went a long way towards addressing the problem with its recommendation that the board should be restricted to certifying films for age-appropriate viewing. Another advisable measure it missed out on is making the board an independent entity. All this, of course, assuming the report doesn’t gather dust like so many others.