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Censor Board not for moral policing, says Sharmila Tagore

Last Updated: Saturday, January 15, 2011 - 19:47

New Delhi: Censor Board chief Sharmila Tagore feels freedom of expression is needed in the Indian film industry but there should be reasonable restriction.

But she said the Central Board of Film Certification, which she has been heading for seven years, is not for moral policy.

"Freedom of expression under fundamental rights is needed but there should be reasonable restriction," said Tagore, who was in the capital for the 16th anniversary of Indian Women`s Press Corps.

"We are, however, not here for moral policing. The Censor Board will work in the same manner as it has been working and its not going to go back. I have tried to build synergy between civil society, ministry and producers," she said, as she refuted claims that the Board has become liberal in her tenure.

With a spate of films being released with titles like `Kaminey` and `Yeh Saali Zindagi`, the veteran actress said that she was not in favour of such names as they deteriorate one`s routine thinking.

"I really had a problem with the title of Sudhir Mishra`s film `Ye Saali Zindagi.` The trend started with `Kaminey` and once it triggers you can`t stop it. But we try our best to come to a democratic decision and whatever objectionable matter is allowed is only five or two percent," she said.

The 64-year-old actress was not in favour of the government`s recent decision to ban smoking in films and TV serials.

"Ban on smoking in films and serials does not make any sense to me. What I believe is smoking scenes can also be used to dissuade people," she said.

Speaking about the 15-plus category to be introduced, which is still under consideration, the actress said that majority of people are in favour of some kind of censorship though certain films and documentaries should be banned.

The Censor Board chairman also termed Ashvin Kumar`s claims as `untrue` that his documentary on Kashmir `Inshallah Football`, targetted at football lovers had been denied certification.

"After much consideration, we gave `Inshallah Football` `A` certificate as there was graphic description of torture. It`s a beautiful film and I want everyone to see it," she explained.

She also had a word of advice for the audience.

"I think the most important thing is to be media literate as today everything is in images. People need to become more tolerant and mature. Impact of obscenity and violence could be lessened by blurring the image without ruining the film," said Tagore, who is also UNICEF`s Goodwill Ambassador.

Tagore, who was last seen in `Antaheen` and `Break Ke Baad` is looking forward to her upcoming release `Life Goes On` with daughter Soha Ali Khan.

"I don`t have problem doing character roles. I have done films in my life for money, for a friend, if a like a script or as a therapy and would like to do more of Bengali films as it is my mother tongue. I will work in films as long as I can," she said.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, January 15, 2011 - 19:47
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