The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has directed the makers of Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Pathaan” to implement “changes” in the movie, including its songs, in accordance with board guidelines, chairperson Prasoon Joshi said on Thursday.
The CBFC has asked production banner Yash Raj Films to submit the revised version of the spy action thriller before its release next month, Joshi said in a statement. He did not detail the changes suggested to the makers or specify the song.
“Pathaan” has been battling controversy and calls for a ban after the release of its song “Besharam Rang”, also featuring Deepika Padukone, on December 12. A sequence in the song showing Deepika in a saffron bikini led to protests across India for allegedly hurting “Hindu sentiments”.
Last week, the makers released another song, “Jhoome jo Pathaan”.
“The film recently reached the CBFC examination committee for certification. The film went through the due and thorough examining process as per the CBFC guidelines.
“The committee has guided the makers to implement the advised changes in the film including the songs and submit the revised version prior to theatrical release,” Joshi said in a statement to PTI.
The aim of the CBFC, Joshi said, was to strike a balance between creativity of the makers and sentiments of the audience and accordingly find a solution.
“I must reiterate that our culture and faith is glorious, intricate and nuanced. And we have to be careful that it does not get defined by trivia which takes the focus away from the real and the true.
“And like I have said earlier as well, that the trust between creators and audience is most important to protect and the creators should keep working towards it,” Joshi added.
The certificate for a film, according to procedure, is issued after required modifications are carried out and the final material submitted. Those who expressed their displeasure over “Besharam Rang” and demanded changes in it include Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The Madhya Pradesh Ulema Board also sought a ban on the film for “misrepresenting Islam”.
Besides, a complaint has been filed before a court in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, seeking the registration of an FIR against Shah Rukh, Deepika and others for “hurting religious sentiments” of Hindus in the song. Last week, the head priest of an Ayodhya temple said he would “burn alive” Khan for disrespecting Hindu religion.
“Pathaan” is the latest in a long line of films to face censor hurdles. In 2022, the CBFC suggested 12 cuts in Madhur Bhandarker’s feature “India Lockdown”. It was cleared after muting two-three cusswords.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s blockbuster hit “Gangubai Kathiawadi” was reportedly given a go-ahead after four cuts, and a modification to a scene featuring former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Bhansali had a run-in with the CBFC during the release of his 2018 magnum opus “Padmaavat” as well. At the time, the board suggested five modifications, including the title change from “Padmavati” to “Padmaavat”. His Romeo-Juliet adaptation “Ram-Leela” also had a title change and was released as “Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela”.
In 2019, Emraan Hashmi-starrer “Why Cheat India” and Kangana Ranaut’s “Judgementall Hai Kya” were also advised title change. The Emraan film was earlier called “Cheat India” and the Kangana film “Mental Hai Kya”.
The Hindi version of veteran actor Kamal Haasan’s 2019 film “Vishwaroopam 2” was given 14 cuts whereas the Tamil version was advised 22 cuts.
The Abhishek Chaubey-directed “Udta Punjab” received the censor certificate from the board after days of tussle between the film body and the producers. The 2016 film was allowed for the screening by the Bombay High Court with an ‘A’ certificate and one cut against 13 cuts suggested by CBFC.
“Pathaan”, which also stars John Abraham, will release on January 25.