India: 256 movies banned in the last decade

The objections raised by the Central Board of Film Certification on these 256 films suggests that there are no specific guidelines on censoring movies in India. And on most of the occasions the victims of an irregular censoring process are the films that do not adhere to the mainstream narrative, wrote Soumik Mukherjee in an article in Tehelka.

Papilo Buddha

Even as the censor board continues to ban movies the I&B ministry has constituted a panel to review the process and mechanism followed by examining and revising committees in certifying movies. Although the committee is yet to meet, its is a step towards normalise the censorship process in the country.

The Tamil film ‘Sengadal’ is a classic example of the arbitrary censoring process in the country, reported Soumik Mukherjee: The movie, released in 2010, is a feature on the hardships faced by fishermen in Tamil Nadu and how the Sri Lankan navy attacks them in the high seas. The film underwent 52 major cuts before it was allowed to be shown to the Indian population.

“The censor board follows an outdated law. The 1952 cinematography act should be scrapped now because cinematography or anything technical in filmmaking is not same anymore. The CBFC should stop following this act,” said Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, a former Union Minister of Information and Broadcast.

• January 2013: Kamal Hasan’s film ‘Vishwaroompam’ was banned in Tamil Nadu

• On 25 February 2013, Suman Mukherjee’s film ‘Kangal Malsaat’ (‘War cry of the poor’) was banned in West Bengal.
The boards reasons for banning the movie: use of offensive language and being critical of the Singur movement.

• ‘Papilo Buddha’, a Malayalam movie directed by Jain Cherian in 2012, is another victim of political badgering. Cherian’s film takes a critical stance on the anti-Dalit emotions that run high in Kerala. The CBFC initially agreed to give it an A certificate only if it went through 40 major cuts. “But the board censors everything that has a parallel narrative that challenges the sanctity of the state or a popular belief,” Cherian says.



Tehelka – 2 March 2013:
The Mechanics of Movie Censorship
In the last decade 256 movies were banned across India. A closer look at the objections raised by the board on these films suggests that there are no specific guidelines on censoring movies in In Soumik Mukherjee reportsdia. By Soumik Mukherjee.



Artsfreedom.org – 21 February 2013:
India: Major media attention on lack of artistic freedom of speech



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