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Q. Revamp Censor Board: In the backdrop of Shyam Benegal Committee recommendation on Cinematograph Act/ Rules, comment on the demand to amend the archaic Cinematograph Act which is out of sync to the demands of modern times.
May 02, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

In news-

Recently committee headed by veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal had submited its report on Cinematograph Act/ Rules suggesting various amendments in the cinema act and on functioning of censor board.

Introduction-

The Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board) is a statutory censorship and classification body under Government of India. It is tasked with regulating the public exhibition of films under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act 1952.

Shyam Benegal Committee.

Censor board is functioning under the archaic Cinematograph Act which is out of sync to the demands of modern times and it has been marred by several controversies. There has been growing demand to revamp the functioning of the organisation as well as various provisions of the Cinematograph Act 1952.

In this backdrop Government of India has constituted a committee headed by Shyam Benegal to lay down a holistic framework for certification of films and it submitted its report recently recommending various amendments.

Key Recommendations-

  • Censor board should be made only film certification body.

  • Its scope should be restricted to categorizing the suitability of the film to audience groups on the basis of age and maturity except few cases when a film contains contravenes the provisions of Cinematograph Act.

  • The board can refuse certification when content in a film crosses the ceiling laid down in the highest category of certification, but it cannot cut the scenes of the film.

  • The applicant for certificate must specify the category of certification being sought and the target audience.

Analysis-

  • The current cinematograph act is not only archaic, but also redundant in many ways. The act governing the kind of cinema made in 1952, can't be used for the type of cinema made in the present times.

  • Censor board has found itself at the centre of several controversies over censorship and cuts made to films. It has banned various movies and also applied the scissor on films, which is out of sync with the demands of a modern and modernising society in an evolving democracy like India.

  • In this background Shyam Benegal committee has made various progressive recommendations which are in sync with present times. Its suggestion to amend the various provisions of acts and restrict the role and functioning of censor board are need of the hour.

Conclusion-

Indian films have glorious history and in modern democracy artistic creativity and freedom should not be curtailed. Overregulation discourages the creativity and self-regulation is a handy principle for all creative works. Government should make all effort to implement these recommendations, which will encourages film community to come out with more creativity.


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