After Leela Samson and fellow member Ira Bhaskar, eminent filmmaker Shaji N Karun has resigned as member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) pledging solidarity with them and expressing “gross dissatisfaction” at the functioning of the body.
Karun, who mailed his resignation to Samson last evening, said he was quitting not just over the issue of clearance to the controversial film Messenger of God but mainly because of the “constitutional and organisational” failure of the CBFC for some time.
“I emailed my resignation to the Chairperson. It is quite natural that when the chairperson steps down, the team which worked together under her also resigns. My information is that as many as 14 CBFC members have already put in their resignation,” Karun told PTI.
He is the latest member to resign amid the controversy surrounding the overnight clearance to Messenger of God featuring Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
Karun said the board members had been thinking about resignation for some time as the agency was virtually “dysfunctional” for the last nine months.
“We have not met at least once in the last nine months. Whenever we asked for holding meetings, the top brass used to say there was no funds for that. Not just that, our tenure had already ended in last March. The government then informed us we would continue till we get a letter from the top. We decided to continue only to help the government run the Board,” he said.
The award-winning filmmaker said the board members were not happy about the approach of not just the present NDA Government but also about the approach of the previous Congress-led UPA regime towards the Board.
He said “political appointments” in the panel by the changing governments diluted the core objectives of the board.
“Many panel members, recommended by political parties, did not even have a remote connection with cinema. The CBFC had to collectively bear the shame of the malpractices and misdeeds of some of those on the board,” he said.