20th August 2023,Mumbai: A Plea for Certification Change
Having watched the film, several people have expressed that they wish to take their children along and would like CBFC to reconsider and change the certification to U/A. Even before its theatrical release, OMG 2 had created a lot of buzz around it’s a certification that restricts kids and teenagers from watching the film, which talks about the importance of sex education in schools. Now, a week later and having watched the film, several moviegoers have expressed that they wish they could take their children along. In fact, several fan clubs of actor Akshay Kumar have started a petition of sorts on social media urging the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to reconsider and change the certification to U/A.
The Peti”Ion: Unmute Sex Education
Neeraj Raut, 29, who runs fan club Akkistan has filed a petition under the name Unmute Sex Education: Stop censoring, Start Educating. “More than 14K people have already signed it. By giving the film an A certificate, we’re depriving a generation of vital knowledge and perspective,” he says, adding, “If the film gets U/A certificate, it can be screened in schools especially in B and C centres, where it’s still a taboo for parents to talk about sex with their children.”
Fan Clubs’ Discontent
Girish Patil, 28, who runs the fan page Puneri Akkians, shares that after watching the film, “We wrote to Minister Anurag Thakur, as well as Censor board, on X. We are upset with CBFC because unhone Adipurush ke baad jo bhi hua, uske darr se itni acchi film ko A certificate de dia, so that koi controversy naa ho. They played safe.” The admin of Uttarakhand Akkians, Ankur Prasad, 27, is also upset because OMG 2 cannot be watched by the very audience (teenagers) it is meant for. “Jinke liye bani hai, unko hi dekhne ke liye nahi mil rahi toh kya fayda hua. Censor board needs to think about this. Why didn’t they think about these things at the time of Adipurush?,” he questions.
Actor Govind Namdev’s Critique
Actor Govind Namdev who starred in the film, also slammed CBFC in his Facebook post and wrote, “Jo dimaag censor board ko Adipurush jaisi behuda film mein lagana chahiye tha wo unhone ‘Oh My God” jaisi thoughtful aur progressive film ko kaatne kootne mein kharch kar diya.” He added, “It will be a wise step if Censor rectify its mistake and give at least UA certificate to let a positive revolution set in for the betterment of our society’s teenagers upbringing. (sic)”
CBFC’s Stand on Certification
On the continuous noise for reissuing of certificate, trade expert and producer Girish Johar acknowledges the fans’ overwhelming love for the film, but he asserts that CBFC follows a certain criteria. “There is a fixed machinery. If they did it, they must have kept a lot of things in mind. They can’t change things based on what fans want. Moreover, one needs to understand makers had the chance to go to higher authorities for change in certification but they accepted the decision after the suggested changes by CBFC’s revision committee. Revision of certificate is possible but I don’t think they will do it,” he explains.
Chances of Certification Change Post-Release
On whether there’s a slightest chance that a certificate can be changed after a film’s release, trade expert Taran Adarsh says he can’t recall a film where such a thing happened. “If it happens with OMG2, it would be great,” he continues, ”CBFC needs to understand that times are changing and we have a lot of content on OTT which is far more explicit. So, when it comes to movies like these, they have to be more open.”
Balancing Certification with Changing Times
The debate over OMG 2’s certification highlights the evolving landscape of Indian cinema and the need for CBFC to adapt to changing times. While fans and even some actors advocate for a certification change to U/A, the CBFC’s adherence to its criteria remains a significant hurdle. As audiences continue to demand more open and progressive content, this controversy prompts a broader discussion about the role of certification boards in shaping the cultural and educational content accessible to the public. Ultimately, the decision rests with CBFC, but the voices of those advocating for change are a testament to the evolving conversation around censorship and certification in Indian cinema.
-by Kashvi Gala