By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: In Prakash Jha’s Satyagraha Manoj Bajpai, who plays a slimy politician, would not be allowed to use the Hindi abusive word ‘ch…ya’ although in real life politicians are often heard at their colourful best.
Hindi cuss-words have a peculiar history in our cinema. They are allowed by the censor board in films for ‘Adults Only’. But not if you use them too often.
Says a young filmmaker, “I was offered an Adults Only certificate as my characters used Hindi expletives extensively. But I was told that I’d have to reduce the number of gaalis by one-third. If the characters use ‘ch..tiya’ 7 times I can have them 3 times, and so on. It didn’t make any sense. How can one ‘ch…tiya’ be different from another?”
The latest censorial absurdity is to ask Prakash Jha to remove ‘ch..tiya’ used by Manoj Bajpai many times. Luckily for him, Prakash had another alternative word ready. He changed the word on the spot and went home with a ‘UA’ certificate for his Satyagraha.
Apparently, Prakash would have been allowed to retain that one abusive term if he had agreed to take an ‘A’ certificate.
But then Vishal Bhardwaj’s Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola had Pankaj Kapoor uttering ‘bhenc..d’ after every sentence.
And that was given a ‘UA’ certificate.
When contacted, Prakash Jha refused to get into a controversy saying, “Satyagraha is my first film where the censors cut nothing in the visuals and practically nothing in the dialogues either. So I’m happy. As for the one word that I had to replace who knows why it was found objectionable?’