Controversy-free Board


V Pattabhi Ram

Arun Jaitley was one of India’s top lawyers. He gave up his practice to be full time in politics. At some point in time he harbored ambitions of becoming India’s Prime Minister but when the RSS backed Modi, he knew which way the die was cast.  And so he threw his full lot with Modi so much so that despite losing his 2014 parliamentary election by a landslide, Jaitley was rewarded with two heavyweight ministries.

The man who holds additional charge of Information and Broadcasting now says that the Censor Board should be ‘controversy free.’ Sorry to say, but personally I think this reference is an indication of a ‘mind-set’ problem. There can be no controversy only when you are allowed to air only one view. Is that what a democracy is all about, Mr. Jaitley?

When Leela Samson quit along with 13 others complaining of how the government treated the Board, instead of handling the issue with sensitivity the government responded in the only way it knows. Let loose a volley of words questioning the ethics of the other party and calling it names.  Their own choice Pankaj Nihlani has not been controversy-proof.

And what happen at the Film Institute?  If you choose people of near zero merit to head institutions and don’t respond to student complaints because it’s a matter of ego for you, do you think it is fair to even talk of a controversy-free board. The trouble with censoring in our country is that it is rooted in differing idea of morality, right and wrong.  Such plurality is at the base of society. What may be best to do would be to have four categorizations of a movie and let the Board decide the categorization.

To overrule the Board as many a government has chosen to do would be pathetic, to say the least.

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