EXCLUSIVE: Rang De Basanti makers knock on Bombay High Court’s doors over long list of cuts given by CBFC; March 22 release of Bhojpuri film CANCELLED; producer says, “I’ll face a loss of nearly Rs. 10 crores. It is DEVASTATING”

Bollywood Hungama was one of the first ones to inform readers on March 10 that the makers of a Bhojpuri film, Rang De Basanti, have accused the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairperson, Prasoon Joshi, of deliberately delaying the censor process as their film has a similar name to that of a 2006 Hindi film, starring Aamir Khan. They claim that Prasoon is probably doing so as he was associated with the Hindi film as a lyricist. After the news grabbed several eyeballs, the CBFC presented a list of cuts to the makers. Though it didn’t mention that the name of the film should be changed, the modifications asked by the CBFC’s Examining Committee were considered unfair by the makers. With the film’s release just a few days away, the producer, Roshan Singh, knocked on the doors of the Bombay High Court. Sadly, the Court refused to grant them relief. As a result, Rang De Basanti won’t be able to make it to cinemas this Friday, March 22.

An industry insider told us, “The CBFC’s side argued that the producer should have followed due process and approached the Revising Committee (RC) first instead of approaching the court directly. The makers argued that RC was ready to entertain them only after a month and hence, they decided to move Court. Justice G S Kulkarni and Justice Firdosh P Pooniwalla asked the RC to watch the film and submit the report within 10 days. But March 22 is just 4 days away. In other words, Rang De Basanti’s release stands cancelled.”

Bollywood Hungama exclusively spoke to producer Roshan Singh and he said, “We requested the judges that we are short of time and it won’t be possible to wait for 10 days. But they didn’t relent. Hence, Rang De Basanti won’t arrive in cinemas on March 22.”

He further said with a heavy heart, “I’ll face a loss of nearly Rs. 10 crores due to this delay. It is devastating. There’s a lot of excitement for this film. It was going to get the biggest release ever for a Bhojpuri film, in around 500 screens.”

Rang De Basanti stars Khesari Lal Yadav, Rati Pandey, Diana Khan and is directed by Premanshu Singh

Bollywood Hungama went through the cut list provided by the EC to the makers. The makers were asked to reduce violence by 50% in a fight sequence at the beginning of the film and the scene where the lead actor uses a trishul to fight the baddies. They also asked the makers to delete religious-related terms and words like ‘Allah Hu Akbar’, ‘Hindu’, ‘Hindutva’, ‘Pawan Putra Hanuman’, ‘Bhagwadhari’, etc. The makers were also told to delete the word ‘Haramzaade’.

The industry insider said, “The cuts asked by the EC were unjustified and hence, the makers had no option but to approach the court.”

The Rang De Basanti vs CBFC row has sent shockwaves in the industry from the very start. Though the censor screening of the film took place on February 19 and the screening report was submitted on February 21, the process was delayed due to a lack of clearance from the chairperson. The makers wrote letters and requested the process to be fastened but their plea fell on deaf ears. The matter became so serious that Abhay Sinha, president of the Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA) too wrote to the CBFC requesting urgent clearance.

Bollywood Hungama spoke to Roshan Singh on March 10 and he had then claimed, “On March 8, I got a call from CBFC and I was asked, ‘Kya aap apni film ka title change kar sakte hai kya?’. I made it clear that it’s not possible as we have begun the publicity and the material has gone out.”

Also Read: SHOCKING: CBFC chairperson Prasoon Joshi accused of delaying censor process of Bhojpuri film Rang De Basanti as its title is similar to 2006 Hindi movie; Pahlaj Nihalani LASHES out, “Prasoon ne producers ko laawaris bana ke rakha hai”

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