Implementation of the Shyam Benegal Committee Report

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Ms Smriti Zubin Irani
Minister for Information & Broadcasting
Government of India
Shastri Bhawan
New Delhi 110001

Dear Ms Irani,


We the undersigned comprise a segment you will identify with easily – filmmakers and film lovers who believe in artistic freedom. First of all, we take this opportunity to thank you for taking the decision to bring in the much-needed change in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) by ending the tenure of Mr Pehlaj Nihalani and appointing noted poet-lyricist-screenwriter-adman, Mr Prasoon Joshi, as the CBFC Chairman.

In fact, this decisive action by you has prompted us to submit to you this petition, which we believe would have the support of not only its signatories but every person with progressive thinking.

We are sure that with keen interest in the subject at a personal level and also as the I&B Minister, you are already aware about the suggestions made by the Shyam Benegal Committee which submitted its report in April, 2016. The report addresses the issue of the urgent need for revamp of the CBFC in the most objective manner and keeping in mind the sensibilities of the film industry as well as the society at large.

As we are all aware, the rules and regulations that govern the functioning and decision-making process of CBFC are quite outdated and need wide-ranging changes, as articulated by the Shyam Benegal Committee that comprised some of India’s topmost film personalities. The gap between the existing rules and regulations of CBFC and the realities of modern India got most-glaringly exhibited during the controversial tenure of the immediate past Chairman of CBFC, and quite naturally, everyone has welcomed the change of guard at the Board effected by your ministry.

Keeping this measure in mind, we are very sure that you would take the lead in getting the recommendations of the Shyam Benegal Committee implemented at the earliest possible date so that CBFC, as recommended by the Committee and true to its name, only certifies and does not censor films.

The implementation of the recommendations would also bring in the new rating system for films, which will enable viewers to make an informed choice in addition to ensuring that films get the right certification instead of often-unnecessary cuts.

While we are sure that as someone who have insider’s understanding of the creative world, you are already in the process of fast-tracking the implementation of the recommendations, we believe that it would get a further boost with the support of film lovers, which basically mean not only the signatories but also nearly every cinema loving Indian.

We hope you would usher in a new and liberal certification process in Indian cinema by implementing the various recommendations of the Shyam Benegal Committee. And we sincerely hope that will happen sooner than latter.

With kind regards,


(Here is a link to the full report, available on the website of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, for the benefit of all those who might want to go through its recommendations before deciding to sign this petition – or otherwise:


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