Voice Concern for Liberty: Kamal Haasan on Cinematograph Act Draft
The proposed amendments to the Cinematograph Act 1952 would give the Centre revisionary powers on film certification
Actor-politician Kamal Haasan spoke up about the proposed Cinematograph Act 2021 which gives the Centre "revisionary" powers to re-examine the certification of films already cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
Kamal Haasan tweeted, "Cinema, media and the literati can't afford to be the three iconic monkeys of India. Seeing, hearing and speaking of impending evil is the only medication against attempts to injure and debilitate democracy. Please act, voice your concern for freedom and liberty."
In April, the Centre scrapped the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal where filmmakers could make appeals for certification if they didn't agree with the certification board.
Several filmmakers and artistes also wrote an appeal to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting urging the Centre to revoke the amendments to the Cinematograph Act 1952. Filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Neeraj Ghaywan, and actors Shabana Azmi and Farhan Akhtar were among the signatories.
According to the amendments proposed to the Cinematograph Act, the Union government can direct the CBFC to re-examine any film which has been certified for public exhibition citing a violation of Section 5B(1) of the Act.
Section 5B (1) states: "A film shall not be certified for public exhibition if, in the opinion of the authority competent to grant the certificate, the film or any part of it is against the interests of [the sovereignty and integrity of India] the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or involves defamation or contempt of court or is likely to incite the commission of any offence."
The Centre released a draft of the bill and sought comments from the public which will be accepted till 2 July.
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