The Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2018 by Dr.Shashi Tharoor has ushered a new hope to the film makers and its viewers in India. The Bill seeks to do away with the restricting provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (hereinafter referred to as the Principal Act) and curb the Central Government’s interference with the exhibition of films. The Bill omits Section 6 of the Principal Act where it gives enormous powers to the Central Government to restrict the exhibition of a film for such period as it deems fit and directing penalties if contravened. In Section 4 of the Principal Act after sub-section (2), the following sub-section is proposed to be added that “no person apart from the Board shall sanction films for public exhibition”, thus preventing the Central Government to exercise its whimsical control over CBFC. The Bill seeks to do away with the concept of moral policing by self-certified vigilante groups who contribute to chaos while releasing of films involving socio-cultural, socio-economical, socio-political genres. Currently, CBFC has rating systems as U, A, U/A, S. The CBFC can also completely refuse to certify thus making the movie unavailable for theatres to screen .The Bill introduces new certificates of rating systems as U , U/A12+ U/A15+, A, S, C(A with caution). These rating criterions help viewer’s make a conscious decision regarding the viewing of a film empowering parental control over their children’s viewing standards. This is a very laudable criterion keeping in mind with the 21 st century adolescents. According to PTI report, the CBFC denied certificates to 77 films in 2015-2016 and 125 films in 2016-2017 thus restricting the audience to view content driven films as also violating Art.19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. The pre-censorship powers of the CBFC and the revisional powers of the Central Government constitute a paternalistic policy, which is incompatible with the polity of a mature democracy and as a vigilant viewer of content driven cinema, I cordially welcome this change as it will introduce the Indian viewers of Hindi cinema to better and varied genre of movies unlike the same age old Bollywood
spice.

-By Anwesha Maitra
V-IV-C-80

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *