However, in recent weeks it’s looked like the country’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is becoming increasingly conservative. Having recently banned the acclaimed feminist movie, Lipstick Under My Burkha, with one of the reasons cited being that it was too ‘lady-oriented’, it’s now decided not to give a certificate to the gay-themed Ka Bodyscapes, according to TheWire.
The movie’s director Jayan Cherian wrote on Facebook, “It’s official, Mr. Pahlaj Nihalani [chairman of the CBFC] put the final nail in my coffin!” The letter Cherian received from the Board refused the movie a certificate for ‘glorifying’ gay relationships, while saying it shows ‘vulgarity’ by showing Hinduism in a ‘derogatory’ fashion and that it also shouldn’t be allowed for depicting a ‘female Muslim character masturbating’.
Ka Bodyscapes folows, ‘Haris, a gay painter; Vishnu, a rural kabaddi player, and their friend Sia, an activist who refuse to conform to dominant norms of femininity, struggle to find space and happiness in a conservative Indian City.’
The film has been fighting for a certificate since last April, but Nihalani is the last resort for the film, and with his refusal, it’s now unlikely the movie will ever be legally screened in India.