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FCAT slams Nihalani’s CBFC, passes Lipstick Under My Burkha with 'A' certificate


The FCAT, however, has ordered cuts in the film produced by Prakash Jha. 

Our Correspondent

Director Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha has finally been cleared for a theatrical release in India. The Film Certification Tribunal Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) has directed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to clear the film by giving it an adult certificate. 

The CBFC, headed by filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani, had denied certification to the film earlier citing reasons that made people across India raise their eyebrows. In its letter, the board had stated that the film cannot be cleared since it is “lady oriented” and is “full of sexual content, abusive words, audio pornography and fantasy above life.”

Read more: CBFC refuses certificate to Prakash Jha's Lipstick Under My Burkha

The FCAT has slammed the CBFC for this stand stating that the board has “misdirected themselves in denying certification on the ground that the story of the film is women oriented. There cannot be any embargo on a film being women oriented or containing sexual fantasies and expression of the inner desires of women.” 

Read more: CBFC needs classes on cinema, gender: Lipstick Under My Burkha director

It added, “As a matter of general approach if the aspect of sexual desires and their expression is sensitively handled without bringing coarseness, vulgarity or obscenity, pandering prurient tendencies, then it is not to be disallowed.” 

However, the FCAT has ordered “voluntary and some additional cuts and deletions.” This includes reducing the duration of certain sex scenes. But they have allowed the use of cuss words. “We cannot lose sight that there is a thin line between creative and artistic expression being depicted in a natural sex scene. The same can be obliterated if the sexual scenes are continued for a long duration which may not be necessary or integral to the film,” said the FCAT. 

The FCAT also made it clear that they didn’t find any scope of controversy in Lipstick Under My Burkha. “The FCAT found that there was no violation of guidelines as neither the visuals nor the dialogues are contemptuous of racial, religious or other groups. There was no targeting of women of certain community or religion.” 

The film, directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, has won several prizes at international festivals, including a nomination to the Golden Globes. With the certification finally coming through, Indian audiences finally have a chance to view the film.