When I wear a lipstick under my burkha, I have the freedom to wear any color; red, pink, purple, black. Then why can’t I enjoy the same level of freedom on wearing the same colors, without a cover? Why I see fingers pointed at me, saying, we don’t like your color’s choice, you can’t wear purple, wear red.
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has banned the film Lipstick under my burkha. Banning the film was less surprising to me than the reasons cited for the ban.
The board said the film is women oriented, but then that is what the narrative of the film is. Adding to the reason it said the film contains women’s fantasies above life. This reason was too hard for me to gulp down. As an individual, anybody can have fantasies about their own lives, be it sexual. I found it shocking that now we have filters on our fantasies as well. Moreover, it’s a barrier on fantasies of a particular gender, leave aside actions.
It is acceptable if a man’s desire of women is portrayed, be it obscene. But when a woman’s desire is to be played on screen, it becomes objectionable. Films like Great Grand Masti, Maztizaade, Hunter and many others favor the argument. It appears that some minds will take time to be freed from the set notions and let women fly to any limits.
It isn’t a hidden fact that women are suppressed by the dominating patriarchal society. The board isn’t ready to accept creative work contrasting to the stereotypes about women. When films on societal issues are need of the time, CBFC’s actions are discouraging for the filmmakers.
This film by PrakhashJha productions has already won the Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality at the Mumbai Film Festival and the Spirit of Asia Prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival. The film also grabbed Glasgow Film Festival 2017 Audience Award. So, this means it is no nonsense movie and people have appreciated it. Then why is it so that we(Indians) are denied the right to choose our taste for movies? Why aren’t we given a chance to watch it first and debate it later? Why is it that a bench of four people decides for the audience at large?