Leela Samson stole the show by resigning from the Censor Board after the film “MSG” was passed by the Appellate Tribunal. We have already discussed about her here. The next person to follow suit was CBFC member Ira Bhaskar, who resigned from the Censor board as soon as Samson left. Bhaskar said her resignation has nothing to do with Samson’s departure.
But who is Ira Bhaskar? Was she qualified to be on the Censor board? Bhaskar is a a Professor in Cinema Studies at the JNU. She has a PHD in Cinema Studies too. All this is mentioned in her profile on the JNU website. But there’s one more “qualification” which isnt mentioned: She is the mother of Film actress Swara Bhaskar.
But who is Swara Bhaskar you ask? She has acted in movies like Raanjhana and Tanu Weds Manu. Whether the mother of an actress, being on the Censor board can lead to Conflict of Interest issues is a question, but we mention Swara for another reason. Swara Bhaskar is a vocal Modi and BJP critic. See some of her tweets April and May 2014:
If the mother is anything like her daughter, we now know one of the reasons why she was appointed on the Censor Board by Madam Sonia.
Another member of the Censor Board is Anjum Rajabali. He is a professional screenwriter, having worked on movies like Ghulam and Rajneeti. Prima Facie, he seems to be a genuinely worthy Censor Board member. Another virtue he possesses is a whole lot of “Secularism”.
In April 2014, almost the same time as Swara Bhaskar’s twitter outburst, Anjum Rajabali started a unique movement: A campaign to get Bollywood to vote for “Secularism” . Although the campaign was ambiguous, Rajabali wasn’t, “It’s absolutely clear that we are referring to any party that does not have a secular approach, which means the right wing BJP and its allies.”
Mind you, Anjum Rajabali was not a mere signatory to a campaign or a supporter, he was the one who spearheaded it, it was his initiative. Now whether it was his brain child, or was there a woman, a very powerful woman behind him, is not known. But we certainly cant rule that out now can we? Hence it is not a surprise that he too has resigned today.