CENTRAL BOARD OF FILM CERTIFICATION, SPECTRE, JAMES BOND
Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is a Statutory body under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, regulating the public exhibition of films under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act 1952.
Films can be publicly exhibited in India only after they have been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification.
The Board, consists of non-official members and a Chairman (all of whom are appointed by Central Government) and functions with headquarters at Mumbai. It has nine Regional offices, one each at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Cuttack and Guwahati. The Regional Offices are assisted in the examination of films by Advisory Panels. The members of the panels are nominated by Central Government by drawing people from different walks of life for a period of 2 years.
The Certification process is in accordance with The Cinematograph Act, 1952, The Cinematograph (certification) Rules, 1983, and the guidelines issued by the Central government u/s 5 (B)
The two steps forward, three shuffles back of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) over the Punjabi film The Mastermind: Jinda Sukha is just the latest instance of the deepening chasm between ‘censorship’ and ‘certification’ in today’s India. The revoking of a duly certified film underlines the growing trend of ‘if there are people who don’t like it, and will make a noise about it, we won’t show it’.
The difference between certification and censorship is vast, and unbridgeable, and rightly so. Censorship is ‘to censor’, to arrogate unto an appointed body or an individual the power to decide what can be watched, and what cannot. Back when the British instituted censorship, they framed rules to restrict exhibition of such cinematic works as could potentially be considered subversive or ‘pro-freedom’.
After Independence, when The Cinematograph Act of 1952 came into being, ‘censorship’ came to mean much more. The guidelines of the Act, while accepting the constitutional right of freedom of speech, which extends to press and cinema, are a detailed list of what can be considered ‘reasonable restrictions’: any work that can be deemed against “the sovereignty and integrity 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”.
Basically, that covers Everything. And the implementation of such ‘rules and guidelines’ by people who misuse or raise them as red flags without any understanding of the arts, rather than interpret them wisely, is what has led us to the situation where we can vote, marry, procreate and decide on many other crucial decisions that impact our lives, but not on what we can watch in our theatres.
Early in this writer’s tenure on the CBFC, a wizened officer had said, ‘If we try going strictly by the guidelines, no film will be passed’. But the corrosive extent of the ‘restrictions’, which to a long-time journalist and film critic were far from being reasonable, became evident only gradually.
1. To ensure healthy entertainment, recreation and education to the public.
2. To make the certification process transparent and responsible.
3. To create awareness among advisory panel members, media and film makers about the guidelines for certification and current trend in films through workshops and meetings.
4. To adopt modern technology for certification process through computerization of certification process and upgradation of infrastructure.
5. To maintain transparency about Board’s activities through voluntary disclosures, implementation of e-governance, prompt replies to RTI queries and publication of annual report.
6. To develop CBFC as a Centre of Excellence.
Films can be publicly exhibited in India only after they have been certified by CBFC.
The Board comprises of non-authority individuals and an Executive (every one of whom are designated by the Union Government) and capacities with home office at Mumbai. It has nine Territorial Workplaces at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Cuttack and Guwahati. The Provincial Workplaces are helped with the examination of movies by Counseling Boards. The Union Government designates the Individuals from the boards by drawing individuals from distinctive strolls of life for a time of two years.
It likewise turned out to be clear exactly how, all different things being equivalent, a bundle of people can discover it less demanding to veer towards restriction not on account of they themselves fundamentally support it, but rather by a default choice which falls into the 'how about we not irritate anybody' circle. What's more, that, given the objectives — political, social, moral — that run with such a choice, and the simplicity with which we are all affronted by everything, the command of the Board — accreditation, not restriction — is the first to be relinquished.
In the event that the amusement of the Jinda-Sukha story, even in the most standard of way, makes offense a 'segment of society', why, the least demanding thing to do is to prevent the film from discharging. In the event that a Kaum De Heere, on the death of Indira Gandhi, will bring about 'mutual strain', boycott it. In the event that the Kamalahasan film Vishwaroopam reasons 'hurt to Muslim assessments', interest changes. It is important not which government is in force: any film that is seen to be testing business as usual, or raises disturbing certainties even in fiction, welcomes an out and out boycott, or mutilation before an authentication is conceded.
Accreditation is a two-layered procedure. Contingent upon the dialect it is made in, a film goes first to an analyzing board of trustees or a consultative board at a local focus (there are nine in the nation: Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Cuttack, Guwahati). This procedure — a survey by the board — prompts a choice on the confirmation. Most makers actually need a U testament, on the grounds that that gives them unlimited dramatic (and TV access for ensuing screenings). On the off chance that there is content unacceptable for youngsters underneath 12, cuts and cancellations are recommended, and relying upon those, the accreditation can be either a U or a U/A. On the off chance that the film is plainly grown-up themed, and grown-up in substance, an A testament is passed out.
On the off chance that a movie producer is miserable or disappointed at the confirmation at this stage, she or he can request a second review. An Overhauling Advisory group can't have any of the individuals who were on the before panel; and it likewise needs to have a Board part (or more) on it, compulsorily. It is just at this stage a Board part gets included with the affirmation process: there is nothing to keep a Board part from being a piece of the starting review, yet their vicinity gets to be obligatory just at the amending stage.
Most reconsidering board of trustees screenings typically prompt a tasteful conclusion. Be that as it may, if there is still dispute, the producer is allowed to take her work to the FCAT, or the Film Affirmation Investigative Tribunal, which is a body set up under a resigned equity of the High Court, situated in New Delhi. When the film is confirmed, it can, notionally, be demonstrated anyplace in the nation.
Be that as it may, just as unmistakably, "notional" is the agent word, on the grounds that at any stride, the discharge and presentation of the film can be halted, both at the state level, and by the Focal government. What is the purpose of experiencing an affirmatio censorship hovers so close?