Censoring ‘Fire’, ‘Zakhm’ and ‘Elizabeth’: Asha Parekh on her stormy stint as censor board chief
The preceding chairman Shakti Samanta had ably occupied the hot seat from April 1991 to June 1998. Owing to ill-health, aggravated by the restless face-offs with filmmakers who would raise a hue and cry about cuts and deletions, he had chosen to move on. “God bless you,” he had said succinctly when I met him a few days before taking over as chairperson. “All the best.” On asking for tips on how to conduct myself, he had replied, “Don’t ever buckle under pressure.”
The post of the Film Censor Board’s Chairperson is an honorary one. An Ambassador car, air-conditioned, and chauffeur to transport me on an average on alternate days from my house to the Walkeshwar office at an hour’s distance, were allocated. The Board’s Regional Officer, Sanjivani Kutty from the IAS cadre, was helpful, patiently acquainting me with the procedures of the Board and its structure made up of . . .