This Article is From Feb 23, 2017

Lipstick Under My Burkha Not Cleared: Grow Up, Censor Board, Says Twitter

Lipstick Under My Burkha Not Cleared: Grow Up, Censor Board, Says Twitter

Lipstick Under My Burkha: A poster of the film


  • 'This won't stop me from fantasising sex,' read a tweet
  • 'Pahlaj Nihalani, you failed,' it added
  • Lipstick Under My Burkha stars Konkona Sen Sharma
New Delhi: The Central Board of Film Certification has not cleared Lipstick Under My Burkha, a film starring Konkona Sen Sharma that has won an award for gender equality, and Twitter is very, very angry. The absurdity of the reason for rejection given by the Censor Board - described perfectly by Masaan director as 'mansplaining' - has particularly incensed social media. Filmmaker Farhan Akhtar tweeted the letter that was received by the makers of the film - it read: "The story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are containous sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society (sic)." Lipstick Under My Burkha, which also stars Ratna Pathak Shah, deals with the inner lives and sexual awakening of four women living in small-town India. The film is produced by Prakash Jha and directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, who told NDTV that "The film challenges patriarchy that's why I feel it got rejected by the CBFC."

On Twitter, the Censor Board was advised to 'grow up' and told its refusal to pass the film was 'shameful.'

"Shame. Big Shame our country! Banning a film like Lipstick Under My Burkha won't stop me from fantasising sex. Pahlaj Nihalani, you failed," read a tweet while another said: "Someone shows guts to bring out the reality and CBFC steps in." Some on Twitter agreed that they wouldn't mind spending a little more to watch the film if made available on online streaming sites. "Hey Netflix India Hotstar how about you guys release Lipstick Under My Burkha and we pay a little extra to watch it? Win-win for everyone," the tweet said.

Here are the tweets posted by Farhan Akhtar and Neeraj Ghaywan:

Actor Shashank Arora, who also stars in the film, appeared particularly perturbed:

Lipstick Under My Burkha was screened for the Censor Board Examining Committee in January, when the makers were notified in a letter that the film has been regarded as unsuitable for certification. Talking to NDTV, the director said: "We got the CBFC letter and applied to revising committee. Post the revising committee screening we were told the film cannot be certified. We have to approach the tribunal now.”

Lipstick Under My Burkha director also told news agency IANS that she will stand by the subject of her film. "I am not defeated, disheartened or disillusioned by the CBFC's refusal to certify Lipstick Under My Burkha. I am more determined than ever before to ensure that Lipstick Under My Burkha can be watched by Indian audiences. I will fight this out till the very end, and do whatever it takes because this is not about my film. The real issue is the systematic suppression of women's voices and the throttling of freedom of expression. I will refuse to succumb. In a country where there is so much discrimination against women, so much violence against women, isn't it essential to listen to women's stories from their point of view? I believe the decision to refuse certification to our film is an assault on women's rights," she said.

Lipstick Under My Burkha was first screened at the MAMI Film Festival in 2016 and has been shown at several fests since.