Let us take a step back from the Udta Punjab debate, from what the film is about, from what the censor board has reasoned out, from all the prime time space it has occupied and let us change the questions and direction of the debate itself. The two sides of the debate are freedom of speech and expression & questioning of the credibility of Mr. Nihlani on one side, the need for regulation of words, real time issues as pointed out by the censor board chief. Let us add the third dimension to the debate, is there a requirement of the Censor Board at all ?
Why should we do away with Censor Board itself?
1. INDIA IS THE LEADER – Indians are one of the largest consumers of movies both national and of other language and Bollywood being by large the biggest movie industry by the number of movies which come out annually, India and Indians should set the trend for the world to follow and not the other way round.
2. WE ARE IN THE DIGITAL AGE – We are at a time of a massive internet boom where information, videos, and entertainment are all available at fingertips. All that could be possibly banned is available on the internet. It includes communally sensitive, videos with ill language, obscenity etc. None has sparked any large-scale public unrest. If content is already available unedited and uncensored on the internet, why are we wasting prime time debate space, time and resources on censorship? shouldn’t we do away with it?
3. UDTA PUNJAB IS AN EYE OPENER – Udta Punjab, the cuts recommended by the censor board and the 19th-century debate which has ensued is an eye opener on many counts.
a. It is quite appalling to know a filmmaker after all the problems he/she has to face wrt financing a movie and completing it with a hope to reach the audience and earn out of it will be interrupted by individuals who played no role in the making of the movie.
b. Film producers have committed suicide in the past due to poor performances of movies, not allowing a movie to release could have disastrous consequences for producers and artists. Maybe Anurag Kashyap given his track record and resources, he might be able to bounce back but for others, it’s a question mark.
The way forward, if at all censor board is required they can rate the movie as to the age limits of viewers who can be allowed to see the movie adding to giving their comments on the amount of violence and other unadvisable content present it the movie. These comments could be made public so that the public could make an informed choice as to whether it could go for a movie or not.
We request our beloved readers, passionate movie goers and all to give their valuable feedback on if you agree that Censor Board can be done away with or it could stay with the powers to comment and rate on the movie or the status quo to be maintained.