How to Get Sex Past the Censor Board

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How to Get Sex Past the Censor Board

Illustration: Akshita Monga

I

n a scene from last week’s Mirza Juuliet, a raunchy and rustic cross-pollination of the legend of Mirza Sahibaan and Romeo Juliet, Ranjan Pandey (Chandan Roy Sanyal), the horny prospective groom of the film’s feisty heroine, Julie (Pia Bajpai), calls her late one night, wanting to indulge in phone sex. Explaining the mechanics of the deed, he is shown masturbating while calling out her name, even as the flustered Julie hangs up.

Even a couple of years ago – before the Pahlaj Nihalani-led Censor Board of Film Certification unleashed his reign of terror on all things un-saanskari – the inclusion of the scene in a mainstream Hindi film would have come as a surprise. But under Nihalani’s regime, this is especially staggering. So unbelievable was the board’s decision to retain this bold scene that Sanyal, the actor portraying the role of Ranjan Pandey admitted that he was surprised that Pahlaj Nihalani didn’t ask for this sequence to be cut.

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