India is the second most populous democratic country in the world and the largest producer of films in the world. Our country obviously has been known to the whole world for preserving its diversity. With diversity in every walk of life, films cannot be left behind. So our country produces as many as 1,600 films a year in different languages and in different parts of the country. Films are an important way of sending messages to the society. That is why film is known as the mirror of the society. Besides entertainment, they also enhance people’s knowledge, creativity and sometimes reveal hidden truth.
Recently, a political drama started soon after the trailer of the movie ”The Accidental Prime minister’ was launched and this is not new.After coming out of the trailer, Maharashtra Youth Congress demanded special screening before the film was released. But later they withdrew their demands. Meanwhile, there were also reports that the film can be banned in Madhya Pradesh, although later it was denied by the government. The film is based on the book of Dr. Manmohan Singh’s media adviser Sanjay Baru. The name of the film is named after the book itself. The film is going to be released on January 11, 2019. The whole year has been marked with such drama: be it Padmavat (earlier Padmavati) by Karni Sena and few right-wing organisations. Last year, the Indian National Congress supporters heavily criticised director Madhur Bhandarkar’s attempt to portray former prime minister Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi in a bad light.
Tamil Nadu went a step ahead with ‘SARKAR’ where senior leaders of the AIADMK government warned filmmaker AR Murugadoss and team with dire consequences if they don’t listen to their demands. ‘Mersal’ also met with the same kind of controversies where BJP unit of Tamil Nadu had heated arguments with the filmmakers. There are hundreds of such movies. These kinds of protests are organised usually for hiding the truth, curtailing creativity, spreading rumours (lies), etc. so as to gain by declaring themselves as the beholders of actual truth. Those creating such controversies often claim that their cultural and political history is tampered with, and that they are being defamed and it’s against moral ethics.
To me, there are reasons to believe why such protests are a ducking waste of space. Firstly, most of the controversial movies which are released even without cutting or changing their scenes have no issues which actually have instigating nature – like Sarkar, Mersal, etc. I believe that criticising anyone with truth is no offence at all. Also, scenes which are cut sometimes under the pressure of the government and influential powers are unnecessary intervention by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). Secondly, tampering with the clause (1) of Article 19 of the Constitution, which empowers every citizen with the freedom of speech and expression in itself is violative of our fundamental rights. Thirdly, those who mask themselves with clause (2) of the same article which imposes reasonable restrictions on the fundamental rights either do not know that CBFC has been empowered with the same (the reasonable restrictions can be put in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence) or they are defending themselves by fabricating the truth.
So there is no requirement of self proclaimed CBFC and pre-censoring films. Fourthly, even if the Central Board of Film Certification allows the screening of movies which violate Article 19 (2), the decision can be challenged in the court. Judiciary will see the truth and find out solutions. Therefore, one shouldn’t take law into their own hands where ”Rule of Law” prevails ultimately. Lastly, but most importantly, such protests, many a times, take violent form and become dangerous not only to property but also to life. Remember, it’s not Colonial India and we are in the 21st century.
Let’s be cautious in finding out what is good and what is bad. Have your own independent views but remember truth is truth and it will come out sooner or later. French novelist, playwright, journalist, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism says ‘When truth is buried underground it grows, it chokes, it gathers such an explosive force that on the day it bursts out, it blows up everything with it.’
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