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Showing middle finger is impolite, says Nihalani on Lipstick Under My Burkha poster

The CBFC chief also took a dig against the film for ‘fake social relevance for women’s empowerment’.

Our Correspondent

The latest poster of Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha managed to make a lot of heads turn. It has the image of a hand flashing the middle finger.

There was speculation that the poster was a dig at the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) as it had refused to certify the film for being 'too lady-oriented’.

Now, Pahlaj Nihalani, chairman of the CBFC who has been in the news for the wrong reasons, has reacted sharply to the poster.

Speaking to a news daily, Nihalani said, “We have taken note of the poster. Showing the middle finger is impolite in any society. And it should be discouraged. I don’t think disapproving of this obscene gesture would be considered primitive or regressive in any society, except maybe in ours.”

In fact, Nihalani said sarcastically that the middle finger is shown in our country for sensible behaviour. “We love to show our middle finger at anyone who champions sobriety and grace in conduct,” he said.

The CBFC chairman said the poster wasn’t a dig at the CBFC. While stating this, he also took a jibe at the film for showing ‘fake social relevance for women’s development'.

“Firstly I don’t think the finger is meant for us. It is meant for the public, for the aam junta [ordinary folk] who are bound to reject films that parade a fake social relevance in the name of women’s empowerment. You can’t empower women by making them wear lipstick. First give them basic rights, build toilets in every Indian home so that women don’t have to be publicly humiliated every day, then talk about showing the middle finger to the conservative elements, whether it is the censor board or anyone else,” he said.

Earlier this year, the CBFC had refused to certify Lipstick Under My Burkha for theatrical exhibition. The film was later cleared for release by the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) with some cuts. It is set to hit the theatres on 21 July.