press club of india, Indian Tehalka News
Citing “interference, coercion and corruption of panel members and officers” appointed in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) by the Union Information & Broadcasting Ministry, Bharatnatyam danseuse Leela Samson has quit as Censor Board chief.
She put in her papers on Thursday amid reports that the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) had cleared the release of the film MSG – The Messenger of God featuring Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the lead role. The filmmakers had scheduled it for release on Friday. Despite reports suggesting FCAT had cleared it, movie listings in newspapers and online bookings did not offer it this morning.
The Board had earlier refused to clear the film for public screening following which it was referred to the appellate tribunal.
Ms. Samson’s threeyear term had ended in April 2014 but had been continuing with the charge in the absence of a fresh appointment by the Modi Government. The same was the case with other members of the Board. In July, the Ministry had informed the Board members that their term was being extended “till further notice”.
Recently, the Board had also come under pressure from members of the Sangh Parivar over the Amir Khanstarrer PK. At that point, Ms. Samson had gone on record stating that no scene from the film would be removed as it had already been released.
In the midst of the controversy, she had said over a fortnight ago: “Every film may hurt religious sentiments of somebody or the other. We can’t remove scenes unnecessarily because there is something called creative endeavour where people present things in their own way. We have already given certificate to PK and we can’t remove anything now because it’s already out for public viewing.”
From : The Hindu