The Indian Censor Board, primarily a certification board known as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), has historically faced an identity crisis.

They have often made choices for the audience, determining what aligns with Indian standards. However, this trend seems to be changing positively.

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In the past two weeks, the CBFC has passed two films with no cuts, despite expectations of heavy censorship due to violence, gore, and horror elements.

Nicolas Cage’s upcoming horror film, Long Legs, touted as one of the best horror films of the year, was passed without any cuts. Despite its disturbing images and language, the film has been cleared with no added cuts, and its runtime matches the global release.

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Similarly, Karan Johar’s violent action film Kill was also passed without any cuts last week. The audience has praised its violent action scenes, which are unprecedented in Indian cinema. Without these scenes, the film might not have received as much love from its target audience.

It is good that the CBFC is leaving it to the audience’s intelligence to decide what to watch. Their job is to certify the movie as U, U/A, or Adults, rather than playing it overly cautious.

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In today’s sensitive climate, even harmless jokes about religion, sex, gender, or race can create unwanted headlines. The censor board aims to avoid controversy, but there’s only so much they can limit when it comes to art.

Imagine people getting offended by Deepika Padukone’s bikini color in Pathaan. People inclined to be offended will always find something worth getting offended about. No amount of scene-cutting guarantees a non-offensive movie.

The CBFC needs to become more liberal and realize it isn’t at fault if people take offense at certain sequences. Historically, Indian movies have depicted women bathing and even topless scenes as far back as the 80s.

Today’s audience is more exposed to sex, abuse, cuss words, slang, and other controversial topics than these movies depict in their most uncensored forms.

Thankfully, things are changing now. The CBFC’s recent actions suggest a shift towards a more liberal approach, trusting the audience’s intelligence and maturity.