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Lipstick Under My Burkha! India Has To Make Way For Women-Oriented Films

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It's International Women's Day today and it's sad to see a film which focuses on women's issues, 'Lipstick Under My Burkha' has been left high and dry by the Censor Board. The board has not certified it and when questioned about the move, it went ahead and blatantly called it "lady oriented" and justified its stance against the film. The director, Alankrita Shrivastava opened up about her disgust on CBFC's move and said, "A situation where the female point of view is throttled really means that we are saying it is best if women shut up. Women cannot forever be represented through prisms created by the dominant narrative of the male gaze."

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She further commented, "If women having agency over their own bodies and desires and dreams make people uncomfortable, too bad! We are living, breathing, real people. Not just created to fit into the stereotypes created by the male-dominant paradigm of popular culture. It is quite a paradox. Considering the situation of women in India, with dowry, violence against women, female foeticide, sexual harassment on the streets, it is crucial for women's voices and stories, their experiences and perspectives to be given space in popular culture."

Lipstick Under My Burkha

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The Central Board of Film Certification refused a certificate to the movie, saying that it explores women's "fantasy about life". An angry and upset Alankrita opened up against the move by saying,

"Why can't there be space for all kinds of representations of women in popular culture? We have a right to create and engage with stories told from the alternative, female point of view. We have a right to represent ourselves through all forms of culture. No democracy that promises equal rights to men and women can throttle that right. And maybe the time has come for us to make our equal freedom real. The cultural space in India has to make room for lady-oriented works - be it films, paintings, books, songs. No one has the power to legitimately silence half the population of the country because our stories make a few people uncomfortable."

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