13B’s Sexy Mama in trouble
Seems like history is repeating itself. In 1994, the song Sexy, Sexy, Sexy from Khuddar was changed to Baby, Baby, Baby. And now, Oh Sexy Mama from the Madhavan-starrer 13B has been altered to sound like Oh Crazy Mama. The song has been censored for various reasons.
The board has objected to the word ‘sexy’ and the number of times it has been used. It also has issues with the picturisation of the song. The change in words will, however, only be for the television promos of the song and the number will be screened in its Sexy Mama avatar in the film. Still, it hasn’t gone down well with the 13B team.
Vikram K Kumar, writer and director
The censor board officials weren’t happy with the number of times the word ‘sexy’ figured in the song. But if they thought the word was vulgar, then they shouldn’t allow it even in the theatres. Changing ‘sexy’ to ‘crazy’ raises questions about the maturity of our censor board. I’m worried that these are the people who will be censoring our films. The censor board was far more liberal with the Tamil version and was fine with the entire song without any cuts or bleeps.
Baba Sehgal, singer
Dev D had words like who** in a song, Kashmanu Khaye was used in Billu and there are various such compositions and scenes passed by the censors. So, I’m really unhappy with the way they’ve reacted to Sexy Mama. I don’t understand their policy of not allowing words that are actually not obscene. In this context, ‘sexy’ was used only to mean ‘cool’. When we re-recorded it with the word ‘crazy’, I wasn’t happy with the flow and the transformation. It’s ridiculous.
Anushka Manchanda, singer
I think it’s strange. How is the board ok with saying ‘meri maa pagal hai’ as opposed to ‘meri maa sexy hai’ — if you translate literally? Just seems very inconsequential in the larger scheme of things. The focus is all wrong. Come on, why don’t they understand that it’s slang? It isn’t meant to be taken literally. Some people have too much of time to think about such petty issues.
Shankar Mahadevan, composer
We thought Sexy Mama was very innovative and never dreamt that it would become so controversial. It’s a common colloquial term used in so many positive ways. But I think in our country, issues crop up for reasons we least expect. I was hurt but at the same time happy that they haven’t scrapped the melody of the song and the movie is still being screened with the Sexy Mama version. Perhaps, if we shoot the song with an American artiste, they will be ok and raise no issues.
Neelesh Misra, lyricist
I can’t believe that they came down on this one word. They can censor various other things in Indian cinema rather than create such irrelevant controversies. This is sarkari babu behaviour. Our board needs to evolve.