Soon after Leela Samson’s decision to step down, another member decided to take a stand. This time, it was board member Ira Bhaskar.

 

Her reasons for doing so were in line with Samson’s. In fact, it was a move that was highly contemplated over, by the two colleagues. “I have decided to resign by tonight. My resignation has to do with Leelaji’s decision to step down. We were working together and as a group we had discussed resigning earlier but we held on as she attempted to help the ministry in running the board.

 

“But things were clearly not in order. There was no meeting in the past one year though it was mandatory for board members to meet every three months. The last meeting was in January 2014. The censor board CEO said there were no funds to hold the meetings so the board is clearly not required,” Bhaskar told PTI.

 

Samson, a professor of cinema studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, headed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), a statutory body under the information and broadcasting ministry, since 2011, resigned under similar the same circumstances as Samson- who did so immediately after the film “Messenger of God”, made by Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh got a clearance certificate despite its controversial content, that could possibly trigger communal tension by offending the Sikh community.

 

In her statement in an India Today article, though, she did not directly blame the clearing of the film by the board, as much as “interference, coercion and corruption of panel members and officers of the organisation who are appointed by the ministry.”

 

The censor board had referred the issue of clearance to “Messenger of God” to FCAT. The film, which was slated to hit the screens on Friday, is now releasing on Sunday.

Original source: India Today

[Feature Picture Courtesy: India Today]