A day after Censor Board Chairperson Leela Samson resigned to her post, nine members from the panel too have stepped down in protest over the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal [FCAT] apparently cleared the controversial film Messenger of God (MSG) that stars Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The members who have resigned are Ira Bhaskar, Lora Prabhu, Pankaj Sharma, Rajeev Masand, TG Thyagarajan, Mamang Dai and Shubhra Gupta, among others.
After the resignation, Samson literally made bitter comments over the government's hand in granting certificate to films which can provoke the religious groups. “The recent cases of interference by the ministry through an additional CEO and corrupt panel members brought a bad name to CBFC,” alleged Samson.
However, the Minister of State in the Information and Broadcasting ministry Rajyavardhan Rathore said, CBFC is an independent body and the government has always kept itself away from it. The Censor Board and all the members were appointed by the previous government and none have been changed so far. The extension of few members is still pending and no additional member has been put in.