Opinion DC Comment 15 Jun 2016 Now, change attitude ...

Now, change attitudes...

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jun 15, 2016, 12:47 am IST
Updated Jun 15, 2016, 12:47 am IST
The judgement will become a landmark ruling only if it helps change the attitudes of those who man the system.
Shahid Kapoor in a teaser poster for Udta Punjab
 Shahid Kapoor in a teaser poster for Udta Punjab

The Bombay HC’s ruling on the film Udta Punjab establishes a number of things, primarily that India should grow up in the matter of film censorship and move on to film certification. As a nation, we are mature enough to distinguish between what is real and what is “reel”, even if this particular issue is about a real subject — the well-known drug problem in Punjab. People above the age of 18 years, considered mature enough to vote, should also be able to understand the message about the deleterious effects of substance abuse and addiction.

The difficulties that filmmakers are experiencing under CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani are best highlighted in the court dictum to him to “stop acting like a grandmother.” The censor chief’s agenda and his proclivity to view anything as politically sensitive harks back to an age in which the government decided everything a citizen could see, hear and speak. In these times, and in a democratic country, the likes of Mr Nihalani are akin to dinosaurs threatening the freedom of speech and expression.

 

The judgement will become a landmark ruling only if it helps change the attitudes of those who man the system. We need to be able to open our minds to problems. There is no better medium in India than cinema to convey social messages to people and to get them to see reality is a far better way to deal with issues than to snip away at celluloid and hide reality.

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