CBFC invites religious gurus for ‘Dharam Sankat Mein’ screening

Censor board chief Pahlaj Nahalani loves to land in fresh controversies. He is proving this time and again, as can be seen with what fantastic ideas he has for screening of films. The latest is that the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has invited religious leaders for the screening of an upcoming film. The movie to face this misfortune is ‘Dharam Sankat Mein’ starring Naseruddin Shah, Paresh Rawal and Annu Kapoor.

The film is the official remake of ‘The Infidel’ - the British satire. It tells the story of a Hindu man Dharampal, played by Paresh Rawal. He later discovers that he was an adopted child and was in fact born in a Muslim family. The censor board invited a Hindu priest and Muslim maulvi to screen the film. Here is what Naseeruddin Shah has to say about this decision – “It’s absurd, in fact. For me, it’s beyond absurdity”.

Naseeruddin would be seen in the role of a guru called Neelanand Baba. The actor makes it clear that they haven’t shown anything that devotees would find offensive. He reported to the media “No religion or group will be able to accuse us or this film as whatever is shown in the film is correct and factual. We have taken care of sentiments of all the religions and groups. We are not mocking religion in the film but the people who have made religion a source of their business.” While the other lead actor Paresh Rawal feels that “getting Pandit and Maulvi to watch a film is a dangerous sign”.

While it is well known that the censor board had invited religious leaders, the CBFC denies having done this. Shravan Kumar, the SEO of CBFC, says in a press statement - “There is a provision in Rules as per Rule 40 (4) (c) for the Chairman to obtain the expert opinion on subjects depicted in the film such as subjects relating to defence or foreign relations or any particular religion or law or medicine or any other subject. No maulavis or pandits were called for viewing”. It would be interesting to see what the Chairman decides for the film and whether he would change his image of “tyrant” as he has been labeled recently.

The trailer launch of the film was held on 7th March in Mumbai and saw the presence of the three actors. ‘Dharam Sankat Mein’ is a Fuwad Khan directorial and would hit the screens on 10th of this month.