Just The Right Shade of Lipstick We Needed!

With the much-awaited movie, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ releasing on 21st July, numerous celebrities have come together to promote the underlying reasons for it’s creation.

The #LipstickRebellion campaign was launched in order to promote the upcoming Bollywood film ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ after it’s initial ban by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

‘LUMB’ portrays the personal challenges and trials of women from all walks of life. With a talented ensemble cast including Konkona Sen Sharma, the film is entirely depicted from the Woman’s perspective, many of which were treated outrightly as ‘contagious sexual scenes’ by the CBFC.

One of the movie’s leading women, Ratna Pathak, said : ‘Why is it so troubling? I mean, we have been fighting this for a very long time now in various ways. I really thought we were done with it. My mom in her generation fought these kind of issues, my generation a little more you know the generation before, a little more about sexual rights etc. But I didn’t realise at the age of 60 I am still facing these kind of questions and these kind of issues. On the contrary it looks like it’s going to get worse.’

The film comes at a poignant time as Indian society remains impassive in the requirement for feminism. National statistics of violence against women have indicated that society has changed little, with women facing increasingly different challenges at home and the workplace. The movie adeptly chooses to highlight the situations of women in multiple, diverse circumstances, be they a girl in a burkha clad society to a regular housewife struggling with monotony and inertia. The battle for different perspectives was central to the campaign, as the CBFC’s contention that a thought could be ‘contagious’ hinted at their intolerance of multiple points of view. 

The film was initially denied a release in India in January 2017, after the country’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) refused a certificate, stating that “The story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are contagious [sic] sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society’

Upon appeal, the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), overruled the censor board’s ruling, thereby granting the film a theatrical release rights. The FCAT, however, did recommend that the filmmakers edit some scenes, mostly sexual in nature, at their discretion. The film will be released with an “A” or adults certificate with some voluntary edits.

Declared Konkana Sen Sharma, the other protagonist, “The film is beyond sexual revolution. It deals with gender more than sexuality because the gender discrimination that women face, cuts across age, class, nationality and religion. It doesn’t matter whether you are 15 or 55, living in a village or a city, you are told subliminally or directly what to wear, how to think, what is allowed and what is not allowed.”

Some of the male celebrities who have joined the #LipstickRebellion so far are Arjun Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah and Shabir Ahluwalia. The women who kicked it off were Konkona Sen Sharma, Ekta Kapoor & Ratna Pathak.

Whether you’re a guy or a girl, stand with the #LipstickRebellion and fight for the cause of female empowerment throughout our country. Ancient practices under the guise of tradition or culture cannot be maintained if they impinge upon the personal choices and independence of thought. 

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