LITERATURE ‘From Coercion to Power Relations: Film Censorship

LITERATURE REVIEW

FILM CENSORSHIP

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Censorship has always been a challenge to democracy throughout the world. For some censorship is curbing their Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression and for others, it is an essential to maintain public order and peace. The article, ‘From Coercion to Power Relations: Film Censorship in Post – Colonia India’ by Someswar Bhowmik (2003) (Economic and Political Weekly, 38(30), 3148-3152; retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4413826) talks about the origin of censorship in India that goes back to the colonial period. The censorship legislations in India were introduced in India in 1918 when there was no indigenous film industry and the films were imported from the west, especially the United States. The British imposed censorship (a) to deny the Indian audience any access to Communist and Socialist ideas, (b) to ensure that the spirit of freedom and independence did not reach the audience of a colonized country regularly through the American films, and (c) to prevent crystallization of nationalist paradigm in the Indian Cinema. This article provides a basis for my research in comparing the colonial and post-colonial censorship laws of the country. The article Temporary Bans and Bad Laws: The Aarakshan Ban and the Logics of Censorship in India by Suzane L. Schulz, in the book Communication, Culture and Critique (Volume 9, Issue 4, 1 December 2016 Page 537-557, https://doi.org.iproxy.inflibnet.ac.in/10.1111/cccr.12125) draws attention towards the Central Board of Film Certification and to the informality of the state censorship itself. It also raises questions about why certain films are banned in one state and not in the other states. It drew my attention to the question, why only four states (as of now) namely Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat have banned the release of the film Padmavat and not all states with Rajput communities, if this movie tends to hurt the sentiments of Rajput community which is spread across the Northern region of country including, Jammu, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Punjab.

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