CBFC refuses to certify Om Puri’s film for ‘abusive’ language, references to UP politics

Rambhajjan Zindabad rejected by the Examining, as well as Revising Committees of CBFC. 

Our Correspondent

One of Om Puri’s last films, Rambhajjan Zindabad, has been refused certification by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for its “direct and indirect” references to Uttar Pradesh politics and other issues. State elections are currently underway in the state. 

Directed by Ranjeet Gupta and produced by Khalid Kidwai, the film stars Puri and Kulbhushan Kharbanda. Puri plays the central character of a doctor’s compounder. 

Following refusal from the Examining Committee, the makers approached the Revising Committee. But they sustained the decision. The makers have now decided to approach the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT). 

The CBFC stated in a letter, “The theme of the film is based on rape. The film is explicit with abusive language. There are direct and indirect references to politics. The theme and presentation is not suitable for public exhibition and hence recommended refusal of certificate under the guidelines.” The board was also irked by ‘double meaning’ dialogues, references to people from certain caste and community and an adult conversation ‘degrading women.’ 

Kidwai has stated that his film is based on reality. Speaking to a publication, he said, “The backward classes and Dalit voters are used for political gains. The government makes schemes for their upliftment and corrupt politicians and bureaucrats reap the benefits. To take advantage of compensation given to rape victims from backward classes, fake rape cases are registered regularly and the money shared by local politicians and bureaucrats.” 

There are also reports that Pahlaj Nihalani, the CBFC chief, found Kharbanda’s character bearing a striking resemblance to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, Kidwai has stated that this is not true.