The Central Board of Film Certification has been accused of obstructing the release of a movie based on the contentious subject of demonetisation. Bengali filmmaker Suvendu Ghosh on Wednesday said the censor board’s Kolkata office had asked CBFC Chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani for his decision on the film Shunyota (Emptiness), which was scheduled for release on March 31, PTI reported.
“The Examining Committee reviewed the film on March 27. Since there are differences of opinion among the members of the committee regarding what certificate it should be granted, the case is being referred, as per the certification rules, to the CBFC chairperson for his decision in this regard,” a letter from the CBFC regional office told the movie’s producers.
Ghosh has alleged that Shunyota’s scheduled release had been delayed as he had not received any communication from Nihalani, while local CBFC members had not offered him “proper reasons” for the hold up. “The plot of the film revolves around three stories, which show how people were affected by demonetisation. The movie shows the good side as well as the bad side of the decision,” he said.
The filmmaker told reporters that they had applied to the board’s Kolkata office for certification, as it is a regional film, on March 16, and it was screened on March 27. “After the screening, members of the Examining Committee said they could not decide in which category to place the movie,” he added.
The Centre had demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, which made up 86% of the currency in circulation in India then, saying the move would help crack down on black money and help India transition into a cashless economy. The move has been widely criticised by the Opposition and economists.