Adil Hussain on CBFC: They Are Not Experts. How Do You Let Them Decide What I Should Watch?
Adil-starrer "Unfreedom" was banned by the Central Board of Film Certification due to its bold content.
Image: Instagram/ Adil Hussain
Like many, actor Adil Hussain is all for the digital boom. He says that while there is a danger that some of the many shows and films online might be provocative, it does not mean a censor board should be set up for the digital space. He feels the government should trust the audience and let them decide what to watch and what to shun.
Adil-starrer Unfreedom, which was earlier banned by the Central Board of Film Certification due to its bold content, released in India and other countries on the streaming site Netflix in April. The critically acclaimed actor is also the mentor and brand ambassador of PickurFlick, a digital platform that supports independent cinema.
Asked what he likes about the digital space, Adil said: "If you have access to internet, you can watch any content whenever you want to and wherever you want to. That's a great thing. The experience will not necessarily be the same as watching a film on the big screen, but at least I can watch it."
He understands that there is a "fear" attached to the digital platform as some content can be "extremely provocative" -- but he is against the idea of having a censor board.
Noting that the censor board in India is manned by "people who are not experts", he wondered how one could trust them. "They are not sociologists or psychologists. So, how do you trust certain people who were randomly chosen and let them decide what I should watch or not?
"It is a flawed system that we have, and we know that, in India, we can influence the board or anybody irrespective of who is in power. Though there is sort of a danger (in the digital space), what outweighs the danger is that you have the freedom to watch whatever you want to and you are giving the power to the audience to choose.
"This autonomy that you pass on to your son or daughter when they turn around 13 or 14... you allow them to do things and you trust them. So, the government has to trust the audience," said the National Award winner.
Also, people "obviously have their parents or elder siblings to give them certain sensibilities. The education system should give students sensibilities so that they can choose good content".
Apart from choosing good content, the Life of Pi actor is also careful about posts on social media.
"I am extremely careful. Sometimes I feel that, maybe, if I answer just one of them (trollers), they would understand," he said.
On the work front, Adil is known for balancing between big budget and indie films. How does he pick projects?
The Bioscopewala actor, who has played on-screen husband of actresses Vidya Balan and Sridevi, said: "It depends on how much money I have in my bank account to run the family. I told my wife that I am going to do a short film in Singapore in July. She asked 'Are you sure?' I mostly do independent films, and independent films do not pay me much."
He is also preparing for a play.
"I am just reading it. It's called Karma-nishtha. It's a dialogue between Krishna and Arjun. I am preparing for it. It should hopefully get staged this year," said Adil.
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