Online movement against film censorship

A still from 'Deadpool'.

A still from 'Deadpool'.  

The indiscriminate cuts introduced by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in the recent Hollywood superhero film Deadpool have prompted an online movement against film censorship inspired by and modelled on the coalition’s recent successful campaign for Net neutrality.

Not long ago, after the latest Bond film was badly “mutilated” by the censors, ‘Sanskari James Bond’ had became a buzzword online. When the Deadpool censoring news broke, it prompted a discussion on the online forum Reddit on the cruel butchering of the film. One of the participants in that discussion, Sharath C.George, who describes himself as a regular corporate guy working in social media analytics in Bangalore, happened to see a web page on which the CBFC revamp committee, headed by filmmaker Shyam Benegal, was soliciting public opinion and comments on censorship.

Mr. George floated the idea of a web site that could facilitate the transmission of public opinion to the committee. The idea was to create an easy-to-use tool to help send responses quickly. The campaign for Net neutrality, he said, “showed that we can influence public policy.”

Two other Redditors (as members of the forum refer to themselves) in that discussion, people whom he didn’t even know until then, pitched in. Yasasvy Nanyam, who is pursuing PhD in the U.S. and is a self-confessed censorship expert, drafted a sample public response, and Avinash Sajjanshetty, a Python developer from Bangalore and active contributor to open source software, helped in coding the site. was up within a day, at 8 p.m. on Valentine’s Day. As with, a simply-designed page explains the issue to visitors, points to the Benegal committee’s call for public responses, and offers a draft of a letter that people can send — in its original form or an edited version. — from their personal email addresses. The team has already got some traction, mainly via their message being broadcast and re-shared via Twitter.

Within 24 hours, at least 790 emails had been sent through it to the revamp committee; these are just the emails that have been “BCC-ed” to the site’s administrators, and the actual number of emails could well be more.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 1:54:07 AM |

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