New Delhi: Central Board of Film Certification chief Prasoon Joshi said he was "disappointed" by the fake news of the censor board clearing Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial film "Padmaavat" with 400 cuts.
Mr Joshi, who replaced Pahlaj Nihalani as the chief of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) last year, agreed that there are always chances of "politicisation", but as a constitutional body, the censor board needs to consider the concerns of any section of the society.
"I feel there could be politicisation of things. I do not deny as I could see that. We need to decipher. We need to see if there is a concern for any community. We have been hearing metaphors like 'Rajput pride'. A subconscious of the society is respected and out of the subconscious, if certain concerns rise we need to look at them.
"In case of 'Padmaavat', we looked at the film and understood it as humanly possible. And as I always say, an artiste do not create anything to hurt anyone. Artistes are very sensitive. There aim is to go to people and understand them. And we took a call considering that," he said.
Mr Joshi was speaking at a session at the News18 Rising India Summit, where he was joined by Information and Broadcasting minister Smriti Irani.
"Padmaavat", featuring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, was cleared by CBFC in January this year. The board gave a U/A certificate to the film, without any cuts but suggested five modifications.
The board was criticised for removing "i" from the original title "Padmavati" and changing it to "Padmaavat", but Mr Joshi said the decision was taken in agreement with the makers of the film, which is based on Malik Muhammad Jayasi's poem of the same name.
"People said 'i' was removed. There was a thought behind it. Everybody agreed that it was a fictional film. It was based on Jayasi's 'Padmaavat'. So to stay true to the poem it is based on, the name was changed. The filmmaker has come out and said he has released the film he thought of. The debate should end there," he said.
Initially there were reports that the censor board has passed the film with 300 cuts, which was denied both by the board as well as the makers of the movie. The poet-lyricist said the way media presented the board in the negative light disturbed him.
"I was very disappointed with the fake news. Some media people said 400 cuts. These things insult us, our work and sensitivity. Media also should come out and explain why they put that in the headline. Some introspection needs to be done by the media as well," he said.
Ms Irani agreed with Mr Joshi, saying the fake news was the "biggest injustice with the creative person, who left his normal creative life and decided to serve the Constitution".
"CBFC protected the constitution and it never made headlines.... Fake news of 400 cuts was all over the place. But Bhansali's message, that he released the film the way he wanted to, must have been heard by many today for the first time when Prasoon has said it.
"When we don't celebrate the protection of constitution then we in a way are making those people more popular, who think they can be in limelight by creating ruckus," she added.