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‘Anaarkali of Aarah’ director hits back at Censor Board: Stop scolding us

Director of Swara Bhaskar-starrer ‘Anaarkali of Aarah’ hits back at CBFC as he unwillingly accepts 11 cuts

Swara Bhaskar

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has ordered 11 cuts in Avinas Das' Swara Bhaskar-starrer, Anaarkali of Aarah, including references to megastar Amitabh Bachchan and the late Amrish Puri. "Don't filmmakers use the names of movie icons," questions an agitated Das, lamenting that though some of the cuts "don't make sense", his team has finally decided to go ahead with the edit.

"Does an independent producer have much of a choice? We are racing against time," he reasons, adding, "We have been told to clip out the name of Arjuna (due to reference of the name in the Mahabharata).

Further, a character in the film praises Swara by saying, 'Ye kya sundar kaand kar diya'. They [CBFC] requested us to removed 'sundar kand', because it has a reference in the Ramayana. We take years to write a story and they take two hours to judge it. They actually scold filmmakers like they are our guardians. The patronising behaviour is appalling," says Das.

Swara has been vocal about her tryst with the CBFC, constantly asserting that their job should be to certify, not censor. Yet, she had confessed to anticipate a demand for cuts. "There's nothing in this film that has been added to titillate the audience. Every bold scene, cuss word and suggestive gesture is there for a reason. I don't have a lot of faith in the CBFC, they don't boast of much credibility. My character in the film doesn't care for sympathy. You have to allow her that boisterous streak."

The actress applauds her makers for attempting the film. "We are told, look at the West and the kind of films they make. But, we must take a moment to identify if filmmakers in this country are given a conducive environment to make brilliant movies."

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