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Vidya Balan: Speaking against the Censors is tricky; actors are scared

The actress does not want her upcoming film Te3n to get into any kind of controversy.

Keyur Seta

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), popularly known as the censor board, has been constantly in the news for the wrong reasons ever since it was revamped last year. The board chief, filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani, has specifically faced the ire of his former colleagues in the film industry and of audiences for his strict dictates against abuse and sexually explicit content.

Currently, the board is embroiled in its biggest controversy so far surrounding the film, Udta Punjab. The revising committee has objected to the word ‘Punjab’ in the title and, more shockingly, ordered as many as 89 cuts from the film.

Not surprisingly, a large number of people from the film fraternity are speaking out against the board. However, actress Vidya Balan, who is generally quite outspoken, recently refused to speak up against the censor board.

During a media interaction for her upcoming film, Te3n, when Vidya was asked for her take on the censors being too active with their scissors, said, “As long as I am assured that whatever I say will not be held against me when my film [Te3n] goes to obtain a censor certificate, I will open my mouth. These days, it has become very tricky. Sensitivities are very, very high. So I don’t want to say anything and get into trouble because a film is not just about me; it’s an effort of so many people.”

The National award-winning actress continued, “Recently somebody told me that you actors are very scared to speak up about freedom of speech. I said, we are scared to speak up because there is so much at stake. In case, a film gets into trouble because of it, then it’s not worth it.”

When pushed further and told that it was her right to speak up, Vidya said, laughing, “Honestly, you have seen me speak and you know I don’t hold back. But when it comes to the censor board, I don’t wish to say anything.”