'This was an unprecedented and tough situation.'
'I am glad that following a balanced approach we resolved the task at hand in a pragmatic and positive manner.'
Prasoon Joshi, chairman, Central Board of Film Certification, discusses the Padmavat controversy with Subhash K Jha.
Are there numerous cuts as a few media houses are saying?
Incorrect. There are no cuts suggested in this film by CBFC -- only five modifications.
These are as follows:
- Firstly, to change the disclaimer clearly to one that does not claim historical accuracy.
- Secondly,the title to be changed from Padmavati; the discussed change is to Padmavat as the film-makers have attributed their material/creative source as the fictional poem Padmavat and not history.
- Thirdly, make modifications in the song Ghoomar to make the depiction befitting the character being portrayed.
- Fourthly, modify the incorrect/misleading reference to historical places.
- And lastly, add a disclaimer which clearly makes the point that the film in no manner subscribes to the practice of sati or seeks to glorify it.
Have these changes being agreed to by the film-makers?
Yes, these are completely in agreement with the film-makers -- the producers and director of the film.
When was the film seen by the CBFC?
The viewing took place late on the 28th December evening. I was present along with the examining committee members and the special panel. A long discussion ensued post the screening which the film-makers were met as well.
Why a special panel?
Considering the complexities and concerns around the film the requirement for a special panel was felt by the CBFC to add perspective to the final decision of the CBFC official committee.
Also importantly, please also note: The film-makers, Bhansali Productions, in a written communication to the CBFC, themselves requested a special panel of historians/academicians and members of the Rajput community to view the film.
Is having a special panel a new precedent set by the CBFC?
Having a specialist panel at the CBFC has been done before. I can cite two examples: Aarkashan wherein an eminent panel representing a concerned group was created and also in case of Jodhaa Akbar wherein historical experts were called in.
Who were the people on the specialist panel?
The special panel consisted of Shri Arvind Singh from Udaipur, Dr Chandramani Singh and Professor K K Singh of Jaipur university.
The members of the panel had insights and also some reservations regarding the claimed historical events and socio-cultural aspects which were duly discussed at length
The decision and your comment on the UA certification.
This was an unprecedented and tough situation. I am glad that following a balanced approach we resolved the task at hand in a pragmatic and positive manner.