A film is banned in India for supposedly ‘glorifying’ gay relationships.
Ka Bodyscapes’ Jayan Cherian is battling with the Indian Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to overturn its decision to ban the film.
The movie tells the story of Haris, a gay painter; Vishnu, a rural kabaddi player, and their friend Sia, an activist who refuses to conform to dominant norms of femininity, struggle to find space and happiness in a conservative Indian City.
Cherian and his team completed the film in February last year. Since March various committees have reviewed the film and several writs have been filed in the High Court to have the film certified.
Based on a ruling by the Kerala High Court, the final decision for the film’s classification would lie with CBFC chairman, Pahlaj Nihalani.
Cherian confirmed on Facebook Nihalani denied a certification meaning Ka Bodyscape won’t screen in India.
‘It is official, Mr. Pahalaj Nihalni put the final nail in my coffin!’ the filmmaker said in the post.
The final CBFC ruling said the film glorified gay relationships and sex.
‘The film is explicit of scene offending human sensibilities depicting vulgarity and obscenity through the movie,’ the ruling said.
‘The religion of “Hindu” is portrayed in a derogatory manner especially Lord Hanuman (shown in poor light as gay) which may cause law and order problem in the society.’
Cherian said the ruling would have a negative impact on independent films in India.
‘The CBFC takes the mere reference to any ‘Hindu organisation’ in the film as an offence. This is the death-knell of independent cinema and artistic expression in India,’ Cherian told The Wire.