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Updated: April 24, 2012 02:09 IST

I&B Ministry defends itself on The Dirty Picture controversy

Aarti Dhar
Comment (13)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Under sharp criticism for stalling the television premiere of The Dirty Picture on Sunday, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has said it was only following the directions of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court, and the instructions issued by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

Sources in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry said the court order, issued on April 19 in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition, asked the Ministry to take necessary action to stop the telecast this film on April 22 on Sony Entertainment Channel during prime time.

“If telecast of the film is done by any means, it would amount to contempt of the Honourable High Court, punishable under relevant statutory provisions,” the order said.

Subsequently, on April 20, the Ministry also received a communication from the CBFC, putting on record that the film which was rated ‘A' (adults only) for the theatrical release, was later rated ‘UA' (parental guidance) by the regulatory body, after approximately 59 audio and visual edits on February 13 this year.

Since the movie was granted a ‘UA' certificate, it meant the film contained some visuals and dialogues which made it unsuitable for children to watch without parental guidance.

“As per Rule 6(5) of the Programme Code Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, programmes unsuitable for children mustn't be carried in cable services at a time when a large number of children are viewing. Hence, keeping in view the Programme Code 6(5), CBFC wouldn't like any channel to show The Dirty Picture in the time slot for which it is being advertised currently — afternoon and evening. Such programmes should be shown after 11 p.m. to make sure that these programmes are available only to young adults (age 14 to 17 years), or to children who have parental guidance available, since late at night, most guardians/ parents are available to suitably guide their children/ wards,” the CBFC communication said, while directing the Ministry to “clarify this point to Sony TV, in the case of The Dirty Picture and to all channels which are planning to telecast ‘UA' rated films in the near future.

Since Sony TV is governed by the provisions and terms and conditions of the permission granted under Uplinking and Downlinking Guidelines, it is bound to follow all the conditions laid down, as also the provisions of the Programme Code of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994. The Ministry advised it against showing the movie at 12 noon and 8 p.m., but there was no bar on its telecast after 11 p.m. However, the film wasn't telecast on Sunday.

Censorship is the only obscenity. A government that has the
power to control the flow of information to its citizens in the
name of taste and decency can easily warp it for political ends.
It's not a matter of which party or coalition is in power - no
government should have the ability to selectively feed or deny
information to its constituents. That way lies propaganda. Let
citizens vote with their tickets and define their culture for
themselves, instead of relying on the anachronistic prudery and
dubious values of a select committee. What makes the opinion of
a censor more valuable than the value of another citizen? In a
democracy, nothing.

from:  Manosi
Posted on: Apr 24, 2012 at 23:16 IST

A good decision. Viewing such movies on DVD is much better option
while the telecast on Cable channels is definitely inappropriate.

from:  Dr.Rushikesh Hole
Posted on: Apr 24, 2012 at 21:09 IST

It is high time parents and teachers understand that kids are open to
more explicit and violent contents in internet. Government must see that
explicit content in net and other e-sources are not easily available to

from:  Aby Abraham
Posted on: Apr 24, 2012 at 20:07 IST

Would such an uproar have come if this movie had not got an award? I
doubt it. The point I'm trying to make is that censoring a movie must be
standard for every film that is to be screened on TV. Just because the
movie won an award does not change cleavage into flowers.

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Apr 24, 2012 at 19:58 IST

Nice comment Mr.Gopal. In addition i need to add is this the only film which had adult content and is planned to show on prime time. Not only films even the so called soap operas (serials) are full of adult stuff only, who will bell the cat.

from:  yuvan
Posted on: Apr 24, 2012 at 18:39 IST

while the move is very much a welcome move, I have few other questions to CBFC and I&B Ministry.

Do you think all "U" certificate is truly U and will you people let your 8 -14 year old watch these and explain them all moves in songs, dialogues and theme when they ask - which as young adults they will.

How many theatres do you think strictly enforce this rule. and for heaven sake what is "U/A" - that you guys cant decide which it is, that means you are unfit for the job. Its either U or A.

Its best to learn from other established ones, am not saying copy but why reinvent the wheel. Why not go PG10, PG13, R like in USA where it is very explicit on who can watch and who cannot.

from:  sriram
Posted on: Apr 24, 2012 at 17:35 IST

I have seen this movie and i welcome the action by IB ministry. Though few of the scenes were removed but if u will see then we can come to know that almost every 3rd clip has vidya balan showing dress cut at inappropriate places according to maturity of children.

from:  harendra singh jat
Posted on: Apr 24, 2012 at 16:24 IST

to moralise on movies which border on this age is sex dirty/the trouble with indian morality is that sex is treated as outright dirt. all of us would not have been born had there been no sex between our parents.treat sex as normal natural hunger4 and this dbsession with middle class moralirty will goaway.

congatulations to vidya balan, a palghat brahmin lady like me to have been bold enough to show what people do when they are lovesick---nandini

from:  nandini iyer
Posted on: Apr 24, 2012 at 16:13 IST

Very good decsion.

from:  h k verma
Posted on: Apr 24, 2012 at 16:09 IST

Good decision even though I'm in my 30s this movie seems too saucy for TV to me. Let those who'd like to watch rent DVDs, keep TV clean for family watching.

from:  mandeep
Posted on: Apr 24, 2012 at 14:02 IST

I agree totally with the only other comment here so far. I would go
even further in suggesting that it is high time the more patriotic and
responsible citizens of this country realize the consequences of such
wanton displays of loose morals in the name of entertainment on the
present and future generations of Indians.

Despite the cultural invasion happening today, this country can still
lay claim to a tradition that honours the institution of the family as
the basic building block of society. However, going by the social
trends today - often welcomed in, and prompted by, the licentiousness
in the media & entertainment industry - the time is not far off when
that tradition completely breaks down and we stare at a self-inflicted
crisis of immorality not unlike the one in which the western world is
steeped in today. I only wish that the I&B Ministry's steps were not
just the cosmetic ones for which alone it has the spine to pursue to
any sort of conclusion.

from:  Biju
Posted on: Apr 24, 2012 at 13:12 IST

I think cancelling the telecast of this certain movie was an
appropriate step. Though the objectionable scenes were removed but the
theme, context of the movie was still too bold for young kids.
The only thing I feel is that this decision should have been taken
little earlier.....

from:  Karishma Sindhu
Posted on: Apr 24, 2012 at 10:37 IST

What guidance can a parent give to a kid when watching this movie?? Can anybody explain..Every kind of material is available in the net nowadays.

from:  Gopal
Posted on: Apr 24, 2012 at 07:14 IST
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