Indian Censor Board to address issue of objectionable lyrics


In the wake of the Delhi gangrape case, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) CEO Pankaja Thakur plans to address the issue of objectionable lyrics in films and albums. She says, “I am going to raise this issue in the next board meeting. The chairperson and the board will take a call on how it should be addressed. Suggestions from the public are welcome.” Her recent post on a social networking site had read: “Today, I pledge not to post any song that objectifies women/treats them as commodity/discusses their physicality in a denigrating way/has covert violence in lyrics or images/promotes the popular stereotype of women as lesser beings. I request my friends to check me in case I fail to keep my pledge.” Shouldn’t the film industry and CBFC be blamed for such songs? Thakur says, “We start looking for heroes and scapegoats when tragedy strikes. It is unfair to blame the film industry for all the evils prevalent in our society. As far as CBFC is concerned, let me put it on record that it does not clear any song or dialogue that either promotes violence against women or falls under the ‘obscene’ category. While interpreting obscenity, the board keeps in mind the contemporary standard of society as well as the various court judgements where obscenity has been defined. The Cinematograph Act is also very clear about the depiction of women on screen.” So, how come there are a number of songs with vulgar lyrics floating in the market? She explains, “Songs (audio only) do not require certification. However, all music albums require certification, and action can be taken against the makers of uncertified albums if a case is registered against them. The only way to deal with the menace of vulgar lyrics is to show zero tolerance towards them. While CBFC is determined to play its role to the best of its capability, we should keep in mind that no mature society can afford to depend solely on the intervention of regulatory bodies.”


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