What’s the similarity between Indian politics and the Indian Censor Board?
Both are a bunch of illogical jesters, doing a job, which a person half their age should be doing.
At least I get it when a politician keeps his or her own interests over the country’s; it will benefit them financially, but what’s up with the irrational decisions taken by the Indian censor board. I fail to find any sort of reason or logic behind the decisions they take up.
Subtitle Bans: Most of the English television channels have the subtitles feature which is completely useless since most of the words that are used in English movies or television series are not allowed to be shown in India. Yes, that is exactly how our censor board works.
Words like “ass”, “boobs”, “fuck” etc. are considered obscene and hence all you see on screen is “***” when such words are used. As if that wasn’t enough, even words like “beef”, “pork”, “weed” etc. are banned as they hurt religious sentiments.
The funniest part is that even a word like “sex” is written in asterix; when the word itself can have more than one meaning. Even if the dialogue refers to it in terms of gender, it is mostly written in asterix. Each time a character says a line like, “We had sex”, the subtitles show, “We made love”; the censor board is clearly ignorant if they believe that kids in India don’t really know what that means.
Smoking Warnings: A burning cigarette is not allowed to be shown on Indian television screens. Yes, you read it right.
It is allowed in movie theatres but it must be accompanied by the message “Cigarette smoking is injurious to health” every time.
So basically, even if a kid had not noticed the character smoking a cigarette, or a cigar, or a pipe, the message, which is flashed every now and then, makes sure that the attention of every viewer is shifted from the plot to the burning cigarette. How thoughtful indeed!
In today’s time, when psychologists in more developed countries have proved that the graphic content on the cigarette boxes along with the warning messages attract more young people to smoke, the Indian censor board is introducing such archaic methods of educating people about its ill effects.
Violence and Adult Content: The Board has very clearly categorized the certificates, which are issued to films: U standing for Universal is for unrestricted public exhibition. UA standing for Parental Guidance is for unrestricted public exhibition but under parental guidance for children under the age of 12.
A standing for Adults-Only restricts the age group of 18 and above. S standing for Restricted is restricted for a certain specialized audience, such as doctors.
And still many films are asked to edit or cut scenes; films that are violent or have high sexual content must make the necessary edits if they wish to receive the approval of the censor board.
If you are so adamant about what should be shown to the audience, why are there such categorizations included in the machinery in the first place?
Personally, I think that when a film is being screened in a theatre, it should be clearly mentioned if it contains heavy violence or sexual content, and then the decision to watch the film should rest with the viewer.
The rights of the board should not extend beyond the certification of the film.
Needless to mention, playing an A rated film on the television is like ruining the movie experience for the viewer.
What option is the viewer left with then, other than downloading films from torrent sites over the Internet, when such restrictions are imposed on the media?
Jaago graahak jaago.