Former CBFC chairperson Anupam Kher disagreed with the claims of government interference in the statutory body under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, saying they are “baseless and ridiculous”.
“All such claims are baseless and ridiculous. Why these people are pointing out government’s interference now? Why didn’t they say anything before in these seven months. They just want to make it political,” Kher said. Kher headed the board in 2003 and a year later he was dismissed from the post.
Kher’s comment came against the backdrop of Leela Samson’s resignation as Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairperson over allegations of “interference, coercion and corruption” by the ministry. Samson resigned following the clearance given to controversial film ‘Messenger of God’ by Appellate Film Certification Tribunal, featuring Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Many other members of the board also resigned after Samson.
“Leela Samson is wrong technically because a film first goes to examining committee then to revising and finally to tribunal. Any of the three committees in three different stages can pass a film. ‘Messenger of God’ was passed by tribunal. There is nothing wrong in it. As per as interference is concerned, if she was so upset with the interference then she should have resigned earlier. She should have resigned when she was given an extension or else when Rakesh Kumar (CBFC CEO) was caught taking a bribe and was jailed after that,” Kher said.
The 59-year-old actor feels that films like ‘Messenger of God’ should be released.
“If we are giving censor certificate to other films with which a section is not happy then why should we not give clearance to it. If a person wants to play God then it’s his freedom of expression. Who are we to say don’t play God?,” he added.