Monday, February 12, 2007

Contradicting editorial stance on banning movies

The Da Vinci Code:

Clearance and the Code
CBCNN hailed the tolerant stance of Catholic bodies but lamented on the Government's procedure for clearing the film. It also wondered how the Government would have reacted if the clergy demanded a ban.

The movie was released and the inevitable mayhem followed. State governments imposed a ban. This when Christian nations did not have any problem with the movie. The Christian groups went on a rampage in India. CBCNN meticulously covered all the events. A few are given below:

`The Da Vinci Code' banned in State
Goa bans The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code banned in Pondicherry
Tamil Nadu suspends screening of The Da Vinci Code
Christian groups attack Imax theatre
`Da Vinci Code' banned (in Punjab)

But there was no editorial by N.Ram lambasting the ban by state governments and the violent threats by the Christians. When cornered, the communists scoot.

A lumpen foot soldier, A Srivatsan writes about the ban on DVC.
Films and the politics of convenience

And boy, is he sermoning!

The issue in focus is not which community the government supports and which it does not. In fact, such a discussion distracts from the important issue of allowing multiple views to circulate and foster tolerance of contestations and criticisms.

All the other movies in the list attack Hindu sentiments and they have not been banned. The only movie to be banned involves Christian sentiments. The author is cleverly asking us to ignore government support for Christians because it is *** a distraction ***.

In all these incidents, the films were not banned but screened. Rajaji's response to Parasakthi is worth recalling in the present context. He was unhappy with Parasakthi but allowed it to be screened. He said the course of freedom could not be dammed and things could go on until people learnt themselves about what was worthless.

But the Da Vinci Code movie is banned. So, the state government is wrong, isnt it?

But the State Government can suspend the exhibition of a film if it considers that it will cause a breach of peace. This arrangement has its logic and use. Hence discussion on how a State Government can ban a film like The Da Vinci Code, which is certified by the Central Board of Film Certification, is not entirely valid.

There you go. The State Government is justified in banning Da Vinci Code.

This was evident in the case of Fanaa, a harmless Hindi movie twisted and banned for untenable reasons.

And for further justification, the author is indulging in misinterpretation. Fanaa was not banned by the Government. It was a boycott by the community for social and economic reasons. The Gujarat police offered protection but the theatre owners acted in their best interests. Emphasis : the state did not enforce a ban.

Did The Chindu write an editorial on Fanaa and Parzania? You bet.

Fanaa : New heights of intolerance
Parzania : When bigotry blocks the truth

Soon after he expressed support for the Narmada Bachao Andolan, the State's movie houses were forced to withdraw his hugely successful Rang De Basanti, after party workers from the BJP and the Congress staged protests against him and declared they would not allow his films to run in Gujarat.

Both BJP and Congress protested against Amir Khan. So it is evident that the people of Gujarat entire the political spectrum boycotted Amir Khan. Inspite of all this, the government did not enforce a ban of the film to gain some political score or indulge in sectarian appeasement.

Five years later, his regime shows neither remorse nor respect for the rule of law — which is a good part of the reason why cinema owners in Gujarat are terrified of showing Parzania.

Baseless statement. Just as Gujarat collectively decided to boycott Fanaa, it decided to boycott Parzania. If the regime did not respect the law, it would have banned the movie just like the Tamilnadu government which "suspended" (why this bloody euphemism?) the Da Vinci Code. While Gujarat is willing to ignore communal violence and move ahead with development, The Chindu is indulging in slander and character assasination of Gujarati Hindus.

Is there a difference between the State Government banning films and people boycotting films?

How is it that the State Governments of Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Nagaland, etc which banned Da Vinci Code are more tolerant than Gujarat, which did not indulge in banning the films Fanaa and Parzania?

Why is it that the Gujarati Hindus and Modi are sinister, bigoted and intolerant whereas the Christian groups, which went on a rampage against Da Vinci Code, are peace-loving?


Anonymous said...

Chindu's secularism is reductionist philosophy at its best. Simply put, the Comrade on the Mount Road says, "I am secular and you are not".

Prudent Indian said...

Kudos!Nice and Precise analysis.Keep it up.BTW,please check if my blog is sending you any readers.
Prudent Indian

trip said...

good post