The Dirt in Your Mind

Vidya in a still from The Dirty
The irony is writ large. For a film that has won the National Award, ‘The Dirty Picture’ was blacked out from television broadcast yesterday, the government deeming it unfit for viewing during prime time. The filmmakers went through 59 cuts and two months of negotiations to get a U/A certificate that as per the law makes the film fully legit for broadcast. More importantly, a last minute cancellation means lakhs (if not crores) of advertising cash wasted going down the drain.

So where does this fear of broadcasting something risqué come from? Ostensibly, this ban has been pushed by bureaucratic babus who believe that broadcasting the film will taint the sanctity of the home. In this age of the internet (with which the government has also been at loggerheads), pirated DVDs, MMS clips and reality television the children of a nuclear family are already atomic. It is a delusion to imagine that censorship is going to protect your children from what they really want to see. If they want to see it, they will find it.

Also, were you to see regular programming on TV, you’d notice a phenomenon that is truly repressed and vulgar. The talent show, in which pre-pubescent kids shimmy to pelvic thrusts and what have you over Bollywood songs while Archana Puran Singh & co cackle in approval. How okay is it to cast pre-pubescent kids in such a sexualized mould in which they mimic the repressed adults of Independent India? What about reality TV in which crass is the new cool? What is the last John Carpenter horror flick your kid might have seen when you were out on a Saturday night? There is a lot of stuff out there on cable tv.

In comparison to the bouquet of options available on cable tv, Bollywood itself has been significantly lobotomized by our Censor Board. It is a morality that has done this nation a great disservice culturally and sociologically. This sort of repression vis-à-vis pop culture consumption has created a nation that has a rather disturbing relationship to sex. Sex, if crass and vulgar and leery, is alright. The Dirty Picture itself is a case in point, though that doesn’t mean it needs to be banned from prime time TV. Sexuality in a more authentic format, sex for sex’s sake is a strict no-no on our screens. As a result, the films we have that push the carnal pedal are mainly sleazy erotic thrillers, the Bhatts leading the way with this genre. But how wonderful it might have been if the Karan Johars and Yash Chopras and the Rohit Shettys of the world had not been corseted by our Censor Board.

A former colleague of mine who was just finding her bearings in Bombay city with a new job had taken up paying guest accommodation close to work. So one evening I checked with her if some of us from work could go to her place for an after-work get-together. To this, she replied, “No, women paying guests are not allowed to bring home men to their rooms, I’ve strictly been told by my landlady.” “But why?” I couldn’t help asking.  To this, she laughed and replied: “Because as Indians, we’re not supposed to be having sex.” For a nation of a billion and still ticking, one can understand the anxiety. But it’s already too late in the day, one might add. Our minds, after years of repression, are already too dirty. And The Dirty Picture is not going to change that.

In case you came in late
'Dirty Picture' TV premiere stalled despite cuts


TV premiere stalled, Tusshar upset


Director Milan Luthria shocked



Also read
Ten most controversial films


Censor okays Titanic's erotic scenes

All you wanted to know about 'The Dirty Picture'

--

Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Yahoo Cricket

Latest News

  • It's the best time to be with Aaradhya: Big B

    Mumbai, April 19 (IANS) Megastar Amitabh Bachchan says it is the best time to be with his three-year-old granddaughter Aaradhya, who is a curious child and very mature for her age. Aaradhya is Abhishek and Aishwarya's daughter and the 72-year-old grandfather said that he loves spending time with her. …

  • My son doesn't get affected: Malaika on item songs

    Mumbai, April 19 (IANS) Actress-producer Malaika Arora, who has changed the dynamics of item songs in Bollywood, says she enjoys dancing and her son doesn't get affected by her work. If he likes the song, he comes up and says that he liked it. "For me, personally I think songs are part of the film and it's fun to be a part of a song but it also depends on how it's going to be publicised and picturised. The term item number may be looked at in a derogatory way in showbiz, but the "Chaiyya …

  • Sonam begins filming Neerja Bhanot biopic

    Mumbai, April 19 (IANS) Actress Sonam Kapoor has begun shooting for the biopic of Neerja Bhanot, a Pan Am chief purser who was gunned down by terrorists when Flight 73 was hijacked in Karachi in 1986. Sonam feels humbled to be a part of the biopic, which is ace photographer Atul Kasbekar's debut production. Kasbekar wished for good luck for the film and tweeted: "#NeerjaBhanot Her story begins today... Wish us luck." Actors Riteish Deshmukh and Dia Mirza and former Balaji Telefilms CEO Tanuj …

  • Helen is unbelievable on screen: Malaika

    Mumbai, April 19 (IANS) Actress-producer Malaika Arora Khan, also known for her dancing skills, says there is nobody like yesteryear's dancing diva Helen. Asked how she reacts when people compare her to Helen, who is married to the former's father-in-law Salim Khan, Malaika told IANS: "I don't think there is any comparison. She is unbelievable on screen." While Helen remains Malaika's all-time favourite, the latter is also all praise for actress Deepika Padukone. "For me, my favourite is …

  • I'm hungry for roles: Lalu Alex

    Kochi, April 19 (IANS) It's been over three decades since Lalu Alex began to don the grease paint, but the Malayalam actor says he still has "the fire in me and I'm certainly hungry for roles". In his long cinematic career, he has featured in more than 300 films like "Ee Nadu", "Padheyam", "Chronic Bachelor" and "How Old Are You". …

  • Nikita lands special song in 'Paayam Puli'

    Chennai, April 19 (IANS) Kannada actress Nikita Thukral has been roped in for a special folk number in Vishal Krishna Reddy-starrer Tamil actioner "Paayam Puli". …

  • 'XXX' planned with fresh talent: Ken Ghosh

    Mumbai, April 19 (IANS) Filmmaker Ken Ghosh has rubbished rumours that he asked actor Shahid Kapoor to star in his upcoming film "XXX" saying the plan was always to cast "fresh young talent". …

  • Happy birthday, B-town wishes Arshad Warsi

    Mumbai, April 19 (IANS) Arshad Warsi turned 47 on Sunday and Bollywood celebrities like Jackky Bhagnani and Sonu Sood showered the actor with birthday wishes. …

Loading...