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Shyam Benegal: Will soon check with I&B ministry about Benegal Committee report

In the wake of the massive changes in the CBFC and the I&B ministry, the veteran filmmaker spoke about the fate of the long pending Shyam Benegal Committee Report. 

Keyur Seta

Film lovers across India were in for a pleasant surprise last evening when Pahlaj Nihalani, the controversial chief of the CBFC (Central Board Of Film Certification), was removed from his position. He has been replaced by well-known lyricist and scriptwriter Prasoon Joshi. Well-known actress Vidya Balan is also one of the committee members.

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The move has been thoroughly welcomed by the audience as is evident from the continuous reactions pouring in on social media ever since the announcement.

It is also expected that the massive changes will ease out the implementation of the long pending recommendations of the Shyam Benegal Committee Report. More so since Smriti Irani also took over as the new information and broadcasting minister recently. The report was submitted in two parts in April 2016 and October 2016. However, its implementation is still pending.

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When asked Benegal himself as to whether the recent major changes in the CBFC and the I&B ministry would positively influence the implementation of the report, he assured that he will find out about it. “I would be speaking to Delhi and checking out with the (I&B) ministry,” he said.

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He also mentioned that he came to know recently that the ministry is onto it seriously. “Last time I spoke to them was about three or four weeks ago when they said that they were considering it very seriously. There have been changes as you know in Delhi; the (I &B) minister has changed,” he added.

When prodded as to when he would be speaking with the ministry, Benegal said, “I will call on the next working day. It will have to be on Wednesday that I will telephone Delhi and check out on what the fate of the report is.”

The Shyam Benegal Committee Report suggests that the CBFC should only be a certification body that can refuse certification only on certain clearly specified grounds.