Vishal Bhardwaj opens up about censorship; explains big actors’ silence

Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj shared his opinions on the draft of Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2021 and the silence of ‘big stars’ like Shah Rukh and Aamir on the current matters.

Film Vishal Bhardwaj has discussed his views on the proposed Cinematograph Bill that will allow the Centre to re-examine films that have already been cleared for release by the Central Board of Film Certification. He has been vocal about his opinions ever since the bill was passed.

On June 30, he had even tweeted about the bill and wrote, “New proposals on cinema censorship are wrong, unnecessary. Film board and courts are enough”

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The bill passed has irked many Indian Filmmakers including Sudhir Mishra, Anurag Kashyap, Hansal Mehta, Nandita Das, Shabana Azmi, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar and Dibakar Banerjee among others. The Indian film fraternity had come together to oppose the Cinematograph Act 2021, which reduces a filmmaker’s freedom of expression.

In an interview with Mojo Story, the director had told Journalist Barkha Dutt, “They’re giving the film medium undue importance. Earlier, Aamir Khan used to say things. Now even he is silent.” He was also asked if the industry had brought this situation on itself by allowing itself to be pushed around, Bhardwaj answered, “Star power exists. People actually listen when they speak. Maybe it’s to divert some attention from some other issue?”

When he was asked about Shah Rukh Khan he said, “From what I understand, if Shah Rukh says something and is trolled for it, there are 300 others who are associated with him whose careers will be impacted by it. It will affect the ₹100-200 crore that a producer has invested in a project. Personally, if you meet Shah Rukh, he has his voice, he has his conviction, and he articulates it so beautifully — both Aamir and Shah Rukh — but the fear is that their words will impact the lives of 300 others. If they were solely to be held accountable for their words, I think they would still speak.”

The draft Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2021 gives the Centre the right to re-examine the decision of the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and ask them to review the permission given to a film for public display. The Centre can take down a movie from the theatres if they feel that the content is against the integrity of the country.