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No sex please, we’re Indian!

8 June 2006
Posted in: Scratchpad, Social issues | 12 Comments

Unlike many people, I prefer to buy my movies legally—which is to say, pay the extra amount for an original VCD or DVD. Which means my movies have that horrible little smudged Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) poster that classifies them as U (universal), U/A (not sure what the technical term is, but I think this means 15+) or A (adult).

However, the CBFC has been notorious for its temperamental ways, and it would take some seriously insane (il)logic to figure out exactly what goes into film certification. But honestly, considering exactly what sort of scenes they cut out, it just shows how sick our society is!

Was watching The History of Violence recently on VCD. It is a horrifically violent film and should have been rated A for that reason only. It was, of course. However, later “research” tells me that the film was “sanitized” for Indian audiences. Nope, the gore wasn’t cut out—not even the part where a little girl gets shot. Apparently, “We, the People of India”, need censorship when it comes to sexual content!

However, this is more about me being peeved at losing a chance of peeking at Viggo Mortensen’s bare bottom or Maria Bello’s open robe. Fine, while the CBFC (or whoever’s responsible) might have some weird ideas about appropriateness—though I’m not sure what exactly gives them the right to make the decision on behalf of adult citizens of a free country—there are other people who have even weirder ideas of the society we live in!

I’m referring, of course, to fundamentalist religious and corrupt politicial factions who, in their attempt to mould India and Indians in their own rigid understanding of what those terms mean, hold us to ransom should we want to stray from their notions of right and wrong, watch or read what they deem unfit. Take, for instance, the non-screening of Fanaa in Gujarat, and the banning of Da Vinci Code in a number of states.

On one hand we like to call ourselves an emerging power and tell the world how progressive Indian society is. But the truth is day by day we move towards more intolerant and totalitarian systems. Whether it is trying to divide society on something as crude and illogical as a caste system or telling citizens (of what is, on paper, a free country) what they can or cannot watch.

So what is the moral of the story? If you really want to watch a movie badly, get someone from abroad send you the DVD or borrow a friend’s pirated copy??

~PD

12 Responses

  1. Kat says:

    I wonder if this upsurge of religious radicals goes on everywhere in the world? Scary thought. It doesn’t matter what you call them. In America our radicals are actually calling themselves Conservatives. They still all seem to change and twist everything to their benefit while at the same time denouncing any wish for change in policies by the people they say they are protecting or uplifting.

    How sad that you did not get to see a bare bum or open robe. I’ve not seen the movie at all, otherwise you’d have a copy to borrow. 😛

  2. Niklas says:

    I have to agree with CBFC. It is not good for Jan to watch people naked. She is much too interested in it and it gives her a very distorted image of sex. Morover, I think it is clear that Jan’s computer needs an adult content filter.

  3. Marie says:

    Oh dear. I am sorry you missed out on Viggo porn, but I must agree with Vertex! This…sex thing has clouded your mind and confused you personality wise. CBFC just wants to help prevent more cases like yours from popping up!

    Our own US system could learn something here. I mean, just look at poor KitKat. *shakes head* That is not the future you want! You want to be pure of body, soul, AND mind!

  4. Alpana says:

    I must tell you this–my pirated version of brokeback was filmed at an award function, ergo there were no cuts as opposed to the original dvd available in india. But I am not so sure I would want to lend it to you. You seem to think pirated dvds are a bad thing 😯

  5. Payal says:

    Hmph! My sister is sending me her copy – it’s the US edition. So I won’t want yours! And you be nice to me, or I’ll tell everyone how you always make me sick whenever I meet you! 👿 (It was 101 fever yesterday evening!)

  6. Marie says:

    I want to send you a DVD but I don’t know of what. 😐

  7. Payal says:

    :mrgreen: You want to send me a DVD?! Aw… *sniff*

    I don’t know what to say… *sniff sniff*

  8. Kat says:

    Hmmph! Just want is wrong with me? The CBFC has obviously paid Marie and Niklas to cloud your judgement.

    *while fast forwarding and slowing all the sex bits of movies*

  9. Payal says:

    How devious and dastardly! *renounces world and joins Kat in front of TV*

  10. shilpa says:

    you could borrow my lord of the rings dvd set instead 😀
    couldnt stand asha parekh at CBFC, expected more out of sharmila..

  11. Nimish says:

    I may sound a bit like a conspiracy theory person but there’s a rumour going around that many film distributors in the country actually pay the Indian censor board to cut out portions – they love the publicity. And Indian society is in big trouble – any society that interprets religion in restrictive terms is!!

  12. Karen says:

    Totalitarianism and collectivism is alive and well in Canada too. It seems governments want to babysit us and tell grown adults what we should or should not do. It’s really getting out of hand but most people are just to apathetic to do anything about it.

    Too bad you missed the steamy Viggo scenes in A History of Violence. I had to take a cold shower after that movie! 😆

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