lipstick under my burkha

Cinema is a form of expression that encourages virtual art and imagination and lets it carve its way to a huge audience that holds the freedom to either applaud or criticize what they see. But what if you are not allowed to see it? What if it is ‘censored’ or rather banned before you can analyze and come up with an opinion which may very well stand for or against it. It isn’t a denial of the film concerned but denial of the very concept of art which is not bound by shackles of religion, politics, gender or race.

The women empowerment movie ‘Lipstick under my Burkha’ is one such controversy which came up when the Central Board of Film Certification refused to certify it. As the CBFC claims it’s responsible for preserving ‘India’s culture’ and they did take this decision unanimously stating the reasons behind such action. But the ‘supposed to be audience’ can always see through those reasons as viewers who crave for a change in the very characteristic and usual monotony of the Indian cinema.

One of the reasons that CBFC states is that the movie is ‘too lady oriented’. Doesn’t that sound so much like an hypocrisy in a country where all we can see is the endorsement of women empowerment and feminism everywhere? The committee also claims that it hurts the sentiments of a particular community. Well isn’t that very obvious that the ‘burkha’ is just a metaphor used to refer to the ‘veil’ and stereotypes in the society that refrain women from voicing their issues that matter. This curbs their equality that the society claims must rise to the level of the opposite gender’s. Meanwhile the irony remains that the movie has been appraised with Oxam award for Best film on Gender Equality in Mumbai film festival and the spirit of Asia award in the Tokyo International Film Festival. Where do the audience lack to not deserve a movie as such?

We have seen Bollywood movies that objectify women and mock at their sensuality. Now when a movie comes up which picturizes fantasies that women have beyond the stereotypical society and desires that they are supposed to hide suppress and die unexpressed, it is ‘censored’.


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