What the CBFC Didn’t Want You to Hear in ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’
Behind the film Angry Indian Goddesses, is an angry Indian producer. Gaurav Dhingra is upset (and justifiably so) that his new film, which releases today, has been heedlessly mutilated by the now infamous Central Board of Film Certification.
What’s shocking is that the film, which has won awards at various film festivals abroad, was at first refused a certification by the CBFC here. “They rejected it,” he says. The Board was not willing to give it even an ‘Adults Only’ certificate. When asked for a reason, they simply said ‘the title of the film does not resemble anything that is there in the film’.
However, it was hinted that if the makers made ‘voluntary cuts’ to the film, the Board would look at it again. So Dhingra did what any desperate producer in his place would – he went ahead and muted every swear word that his heroines uttered throughout the film.
When this ‘sanitised’ version of Angry Indian Goddesses was screened again for the Revising Committee at CBFC, the members handed over a further list of 18 words they wanted to be muted in the film, which Dhingra calls, “Absolutely ridiculous!”.
Words the CBFC Wanted Muted
• There is a scene in which the girls are out for lunch and they spot a good-looking guy passing by. One of the girls jokes, “Lunch toh saamne se aa raha hai”.
The CBFC wanted “lunch” muted.
• The girls are discussing their own figures. Someone comments that her breasts are not too large, another says – but you’ve got such a big ass, to which her friend responds, “Don’t get jealous, I have a very Indian figure.”
The CBFC wanted “Indian figure” muted.
• There is an industrialist in a board meeting, which is discussing an ongoing agitation against their project, to which the lady says, “Tumhe lagta hai pachchas adivasi yahan aakar shor machayenge toh main unn se darr jaoongi?”
The CBFC wanted “adivasi” muted.
• There girls have a conversation about oral sex and it comes up that oral sex is considered illegal. One of the friends asks, what does the government have to do with it, “Iss mein sarkar ka koi role nahi hai”.
The CBFC wanted “sarkar” muted.
• During a conversation around orgasms, one of the girls doesn’t know what a dildo is, so a friend laughs and says, “Isko pata nahi hai dildo kya hai!”
The CBFC wanted “orgasm” and “dildo” muted.
The list goes on... and remember all this for a film which is certified as ‘Adults Only’.
“I don’t know if there is censorship or certification, it’s super confusing,” says Dhingra “If there is censorship, then you should censor it at the script level, when not much money has been invested in the film. Why are you asking me for cuts after I have made the film? I have sold my house to make this film, why would I have made it in the first place if it had to be cut?”
All we can say is if a Sooraj Barjataya film can be pulled up by the CBFC for its language and asked for cuts, then anything goes!