Sudhir Mishra has just fought a long and hard battle with the censor board again! This time its over the content of his latest much-delayed ensemble drama Tera Kya Hoga Johny.
Apparently, the censor board objected to a sequence showing a police-man trying to rape the young hero (Sikandar Aggarwal) in custody. Sudhir not only put his foot down, he refused to cut down the sequence.
Laments the veteran-auteur, "Why does this always happen to me? It's almost as if there's a separate censorship code for me from other filmmakers. Invariably my films get into a situation on matters that are allowed to remain in other people's films."
Sudhir finds it strange that the censors objected to a sequence of atrocity in police custody. "It isn't as if I was showing something that doesn't happen. And I didn't even show the boy being sodomized. I showed the cop attempting it. The boy escapes. But so many real-life under-age delinquents go through unmentionable torture. Are we not supposed to show that?"
In another sequence, a cop shoots a man and says it happened because his hand accidentally moved on the trigger.
Says Sudhir, "They also wanted me to delete all the maa-bahen ki galis. As if we haven't seen characters abusing in other films! I really don't understand these double standards."
Rather than fight a long battle with the censors Sudhir Mishra agreed to accept an 'Adults' certificate with relatively lesser cuts.
Says Sudhir, "I had two choices. I could fight a battle or accept an 'A' certificate with fewer cuts. There was no time for a fight. I took the 'A' certificate. But I feel we need to have more uniform rules of censorship."
On a happier note, the film's leading man Neil Nitin Mukesh has finally agreed to do some promotional activities for the film. And yes the film's young protagonist, the real-life street child Sikandar is 19 now.
Says the proud surrogate-father, "Sikandar is good on the computer. He's qualified to take up a job. But he wants to continue living out of my office where I put him up after picking him up from the streets of Kolkata to play a role in my film."