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Political Interference, Corruption.. 9 CBFC aka Censor board members resigns

Nine members of the Central Board of Film Certification have sent their resignation letters to the Information and Broadcasting Minister o...

cbfc resignation
Nine members of the Central Board of Film Certification have sent their resignation letters to the Information and Broadcasting Minister on Saturday citing interference and corruption in the ministry.
The resignations came a day after Censor Board chief Leela Samson quit alleging interference from the government.

In their letter to the I&B Minister, CBFC members said, "The events that led to the Chairperson Ms. Leela Samson resigning from her position are merely the proverbial last straw. We have been asking for some critical changes, which are imperative to the functioning of the CBFC. Not a single positive step has been taken by the Ministry."

Government sources said the members who have quit were on their way out anyway adding that a new censor board will be announced soon.

Members who have resigned are Ira Bhaskar, Lora Prabhu, Pankaj Sharma, Rajeev Masand, TG Thyagarajan, Mamang Dai, Shubhra Gupta, Shaji N Karun.

Ira Bhaskar said she decided to resign in support of Leela Sampson. "I have decided to resign so have other members and have written a joint letter saying the board hasn't been functioning properly. The Chairperson is not there, so the board constituted with her has no meaning."

She made it clear that the resignation has nothing to do with Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's film 'MSG: The Messenger of God'

In a statement on her resignation, Leela Samson had mentioned "interference, coercion and corruption of panel members and officers of the organisation appointed by the Ministry" as reasons for her resignation. She said that she has had to manage an organisation whose Board has not met for over nine months as the ministry had 'no funds' to permit the meeting of members.

Samson resigned just hours after the movie 'MSG: The Messenger of God' was cleared by the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal after an initial ban by the censor panel

The government has hit back at Samson asking her to furnish evidence to prove her claims. Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said the government has always maintained a distance from the entire process of film certification and Samson should furnish evidence.

Another CBFC member Nandini Sardesai has a different view. "The new government has not interfered but at the same time they have not done anything for the CBFC," she said.

CBFC is a statutory body under I&B ministry regulating the public exhibition of films under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act 1952. Films can be publicly exhibited in India only after they have been certified by the CBFC.
- Courtesy CNNIBN

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