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Why `It's Not Okay' to ban `Lipstick Under My Burkha' because it's apparently 'lady oriented'
No, I have not watched 'Lipstick Under My Burkha' but I've seen the trailer and I'd like to able to view the film this weekend or next. But guess what the worst part is? I cannot expect to be able to watch it anytime in the immediate future because well, the Censor Board has decided to call out foul on it and that enrages me.

I thought I lived in the India of the twenty-first century, a 1.2 billion strong country that has moved from being an agrarian provider for industrial Europe to a society trying not to succumb to its post-independence colonial baggage to one that fought and emerged in the 90s, integrating itself with the world economy. 

There are times when I feel like a proud school kid singing the national anthem at the morning prayer. But then again, actions like the ones taken by the Central Board of Film Certification practically takes the country centuries back in time, undoing the colossal progress that had taken us 2 centuries to make.

So coming back to the film in question, Lipstick Under My Burkha is a small Hindi film directed by Alankrita Shrivastava that has recently been banned by the Pahlaj Nihalani-led CBFC for being 'lady oriented'. Under every possible circumstance this should have been just a regular film that's talking about the whims and fancies of people, in this case that of women. Play the official trailer on YouTube and you will find quirk themed music, flashes of pop art and extremely attractive visuals that you immediately relate to. The trailer shows four women from varied age groups reacting to a colorful palette of situations that face women in a lifetime.

It's okay to ban films that do not comply to your social ethics as hundreds of films have been banned in the past for dealing with volatile issues. What is not okay is to brand a film 'lady oriented' and endorse that as a plausible reason for the ban. What is not acceptable is to coin a phrase like 'lady oriented' in the first place and make it sound like a slur, or worse, make it sound like a vice. What is not acceptable is to have a clear bias when dealing with 'lady oriented' versus 'gentleman oriented' films if I may call them so.

Films that tell a story from the man's perspective talking about carnal desire/guile, even the ones that end up objectifying women in the process run without a detain. But try making a woman tell a story and dare you make her wear some lipstick while she does, your project darts straight for the trash can before you can even say the word 'unfair'.

This prejudiced way of controlling freedom of expression and justifying it by gendered logic is where we're going wrong. So for every kilometer that we move towards a more egalitarian society, we move back two.

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