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The Rangarajan judgment gave a final stamp of judicial approval to the notion of a nanny state, treating its audiences as infantile subjects, to be shepherded carefully through the treacherous universe of cinema.
In the sense, there will be reasonable restrictions to free speech which affects the country’s integrity and disturbs public order, decency and so on and so forth.
I also strongly hold that the CBFC, which is a statutory body, should have the last word on a film, on whether to allow it for public exhibition without changes or release it with certain deletions and modifications.
Much of the political censorship that our cinema, particularly documentary films, are subjected to stem from these holy cow exceptions, especially as they allow politically partisan members of the CBFC to intervene and subvert free speech. The jury is out, though, on the kind of democracy we are with the government actually playing a bigger nanny, regulating not just cinema but our daily lives, rationing currency, petrol, even food portions, banning liquor, meat and criminalising love.
In these times of beef-lynchings, couple-thrashings, legally-sanctioned goon squads and fatwas, intolerance will beget worse censorship in the coming years.
India is a very vast and complex country and the same freedom enshrined in the Constitution applies to cinema as well.
Essay On Film Censorship Case Studies Law Firm
Neither cinema nor the press are separately listed in the Constitution, though they are derived from Article 19 (1)A, which lists the freedom of speech and expression.It makes its impact simultaneously arousing the visual and aural senses...The focusing of an intense light on a screen with the dramatizing of facts and opinion makes the ideas more effective.Censorship and reasonable restrictions are required because of the impact that cinema can have on the minds of the viewing public.Films as a medium of entertainment require a different treatment from books or newspapers. That is why films have to be certified in order for them to be exhibited in a public place according to age as Unrestricted, Adult or Under Parental Guidance or Special category.The state considers every citizen rational enough to make serious, life-affecting decisions like who to vote for (at 18), who to marry (at 21), what career to choose, investments to make etc but, cross the threshold and enter a cinema theatre and the citizen turns into a bumbling idiot, unable to discern what to watch or not, to be lent a helping hand by the Pahlaj Nihalani-fied Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). Yes, there will always be grievances from some section of civil society.And yes, we need an arbitration mechanism to address a wide range of concerns.Cinema as an art form has always drawn a disproportionate interest from the Indian state and the judiciary.Their approach is best encapsulated in this excerpt from the last major constitutional challenge to censorship law, nearly 50 years ago, in the landmark case: “Movie motivates thought and action and assures a high degree of attention and retention.The chairperson of the board and its members are appointed by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry but these are people who represent different sections of society.The members are tasked with viewing films keeping in mind the reasonable restrictions enshrined in the Constitution.