Bond: "Miss Anders! I didn't recognise you with your clothes on."
With lines like this one in The Man With The Golden Gun, James Bond has made quite a reputation for himself as a ladies' man. But this time around it looks like this very reputation is getting him into trouble, at least with the Indian film censor board.
It came as a big disappointment for Indian fans of the James Bond franchise when the latest film Spectre was released in the country sans a significant number of the romantic scenes.
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in its capacity as defenders of Indian morality has ordered that 50% of the kissing scenes be cut from the movie after considering them too racy for Indian audiences.
This means that in India, Bond actor Daniel Craig has had to cut short four of his kissing scenes with French actor Léa Seydoux, the film's female lead and Italian actor Monica Bellucci.
A number of people took to Twitter to express their displeasure and soon enough #sanskarijamesbond which means a James Bond that adheres to traditional Indian culture, began trending.
Along with criticism of the Indian film censor board, numerous satirical memes have also been making the rounds on the internet, including one of Daniel Craig sporting a lush Indian moustache and tilak (forehead markings).
"Our work is for censoring the movie according to the rating of the film so we have done that," the Telegraph quoted the censor board's director and film-maker Pahlaj Nihalani as saying regarding alterations made to Spectre.
Speaking to Indian newspaper DNA Nihalani said, "The examining committee has seen the film and recommended the cuts. I'm yet to see the film even once."
CBFC member Ashoke Pandit, however, disagrees with Nihalani who has been known to take a conservative stand. "Spectre is an internationally applauded film, but again Pahlaj Nihalani messes it up by shading it with his own thought process," Pandit wrote on Twitter.
Dissent against Nihalani has gathered strength following this latest censorship along with complaints regarding his unilateral decision making style and cavalier attitude. A number of board members are planning to send a formal complaint to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley.
Earlier this year, the board blocked a watered down version of Fifty Shades Of Grey from being released in the country. Even Bollywood films have had been subjected to similar censorship rules because of the board's 'kissing rule'. Recently Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone's film Tamasha, lost a kissing scene for being too erotic.