I am a layman on censorship issues: new Censor Board chief

"I can’t say much as I have the views of a layman," Samson told PTI from Chennai when asked about censorship issues. "I have no idea about the field as I am yet to be briefed by officials. But I will put my best foot forward. I am honoured by the kind of faith they have reposed in me."

The 59-year-old classical dance exponent, who was conferred the Padmashri in 1990, is also not much of an avid film watcher. "I hardly watch films. I wish I had more time for that," she said but hoped that her habits would change once she took over the chair in early April.

Samson will replace veteran actress Sharmila Tagore, whose term as the chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification ends on March 31. Samson said she was 'shocked' by the information of her appointment to the honorary post. "My first reaction was that of shock as I have never been with films. An art and culture background is a little different. But we all love films. With time one needs to reinvent oneself."

The post has long been held by prominent Bollywood personalities like Anupam Kher, Vijay Anand, Asha Parekh and Shakti Samanta besides Sharmila Tagore, who occupied it for two terms since 2004.

"I know there are so many issues out there and I am well aware of the challenges that might be posed by various lobbies at work," said Samson whose appointment has evoked mixed reactions from the film industry.

Juggling many roles as dancer, writer, teacher and choreographer, she is also the chairperson of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's national academy for music, dance and drama. Besides being a cultural advisor to the prime minister, she also runs the premiere cultural academy ‘Kalakshetra’ in Chennai.

"My plate is rather full at the moment. ‘Kalakshetra’ is a full-time job. Then I also have to look after the academy work. There is much work for me to do in all these spheres," she said adding that she was in no mood to relocate to Mumbai or New Delhi.

"No, I will remain in Chennai. I have been appointed the chairperson and not an executive that I will have to change my city," she said. Samson, who received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2000, said that her absence from New Delhi would not hamper her official obligations.

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