Four pro-CAA ad films pending CBFC clearance, will affect BJP campaign: Director

Kolkata, Jan 30 (PTI) Four ad films 'highlighting the benefits' of the new citizenship law are pending clearance at the CBFC for about a month, with the director stating that the process was being delayed and the regulating body claiming that changes suggested were yet to be incorporated.

Sanghamitra Chaudhury, who conceptualised and created the four ad films on behalf of the Bengal unit of the BJP for electronic media, said she had applied for certification a month ago, on December 27.

She also said that the delay would affect the saffron party's pro-CAA campaign in the state.

'I was initially told that the regional office is busy with films that have been nominated for 2020 National Film Awards. Days later, the office suggested that I change the mention of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the ads to Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA),' the director stated.

Chaudhury, who is also the BJP Mahila Morcha leader, said the mistake 'made inadvertently' was corrected and the films were sent for clearance again on January 18, but the regulating body then put forward a fresh set of suggestions.

'On January 28, I was informed that minor corrections needed to be made in the four films. Currently, I am in Delhi... will be back in Kolkata only by February 7.

'I informed them that I will be able to sit with them only after I return. The delay, however, will affect the TV campaign, which was scheduled to go on air early February,' the director explained.

A source at the CBFC Kolkata office said the procedure was taking more time than it usually does, as the ads dealt with a sensitive issue.

'As the ad films deal with CAA and involve legal issues, we cannot give nod without getting the CBFC chairperson's consent. Some changes have been suggested which are yet to be incorporated. This particular case taking longer but that is not unusual....' he said.

Chaudhury clarified that 'one of the ad films drives home the point that Muslims born in India or those that have parents who were born here are citizens'.

'The other films highlight the benefits of the new law, clear misconceptions and clarify that furnishing any document is not mandatory for getting citizenship,' she added.