Friday, August 23, 2013

Crowd Censoring

Crowd Censoring

The screening of "Madras Cafe" a film on the events of Srilanka Vs LTTE of the 90s did not take place as originally scheduled on 23rd August. The reason was the huge protest by the tamil outfits in the state, while the rating of the film in the national media is about 4 out of 5. We have witnessed the delayed release of "Thalaivaa" by nearly 2 weeks on account of threats to the screens, which was attributed to some political movements. The story of "Vishwaroopam", and the role of religious groups in that needs no mention here. "Dam 999" was another film in the recent years that was banned in Tamilnadu by the Govt. Also if my memory serves me right a tamil film "Kuttra Pathirikai" on the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi produced inTamil nadu did not see the light of the day for similar reasons. But all these films were passed for public viewing by the Censor board under the appropriate category.

The question is - Is there a unwritten super censorship? Or the Censor board follows some outdated principles while clearing the films for viewing, without taking into account the local sensitivity or relevance?

A film not being a documentary will always try to exhibit the alternate view since the popular view has already been debated and discussed as the event happened. The freedom of the film maker is obstructed when such Crowd Censoring takes place and the general public was deprived to hear / view the other perspective of the event and the interested groups thwart any attempt to view it rationally even after decades of such happenings. This kind of denial is not good for a democracy and it is the duty of the authorities to ensure and allow screening of such films. Mob law should not be allowed to prevail as it sets wrong precedence.

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