CBFC culls Documentary

July 15, 2017
11 months

Why in news?

Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has refused to clear a documentary on Amartya Sen called ‘The Argumentative Indian’ until words such as “Cow”, “Gujarat”, “Hindutva” and “Hindu Rashtra” are either expunged or beeped out.

What is the reason behind?

  • The organisation, set up to protect the public from the excesses of cinema, now presumes to cull the thoughts of one of India’s foremost public intellectuals.
  • In this case, the CBFC is upset over Sen’s views on cow vigilantism and concomitant lynchings, the Gujarat riots and the project to spread Hindutva ideology.
  • So, CBFC says that the documentary shouldn’t jeaopardize the security in Gujarat.
  • “Gujarat” is not the first place name that the board has objected to. Nihalani had earlier issued a list of banned terms which included “Bombay”.
  • The arbitrariness had caused the CBFC much embarrassment when the list was leaked.

What does it imply?

  • CBFC, nowadays, is showing an unhealthy enthusiasm for censoring rather than certifying, which is the statutorily defined purpose.
  • The matter is already being painted as a move to curb free speech.
  • This government has been seen to be impatient with its critics.
  • It has even allowed a disabling environment to develop which favours authorised versions, and it curbs or trashes alternative opinions.
  • It is having a stifling effect on creative expression in cinema, reflecting the attenuation of the public discourse.
  • This hounding of authors and filmmakers has been damaging for democracy.

What is CBFC?

  • It is a statutory body under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, regulating the public exhibition of films under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act 1952.
  • Films can be publicly exhibited in India only after they have been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification.
  • The Board consists of non-official members and a Chairman (all of whom are appointed by Central Government).
  • It functions with headquarters at Mumbai and has nine Regional offices.


Source: The Indian Express

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Akshay K Ambi 11 months

Can anyone tell me where is this news in today's 50 page the hindu newspaper.