Poetry and literature will have to be approved by the Maldivian government before they are published in the country, according to a new law which have been described as a disaster for freedom of expression by free speech campaigners.
insist that those wishing to publish books in the Maldives must submit a finished copy of their work, along with a form and a MVR50 revenue stamp, to the national bureau of classification for approval, or face fines. This includes poetry, which is
defined by the regulations as: w
Words and phrases structured into verses that fit a particular form, expressing thoughts and ideas that are heartfelt.
One strand of publication is exempted
from the requirements:
...any writing published to circulate information among its members/employees by a political party, civil society group, company, or specific governmental body.
censors will be looking to ensure: That the works published in the Maldives do not contravene Islamic principles, the laws and regulations of the Maldives and societal etiquette , and to reduce adverse effects on society that could be caused by
published literature . They will also, according to the translation, respect the constitutional right to freedom of expression and allow novel and constructive ideas .
According to Minivan News, following a social media outcry, the
Maldivian youth and sports ministry has stated that the rules would not apply to either social media or news outlets.
Pakistan's government is formulating a policy for online media, incorporating all restrictive provisions of the recently approved National Broadcast Policy.
Like the broadcast policy, the draft online policy seeks a ban or more or less everything. In
Publishing inconsistent and misleading information and data. No information and data can be published or broadcast demeaning the armed forces, law enforcement agencies and government officials who can
sentence people for criminal offences.
The online media cannot publish information and data that may spark separatism and unrest or create hatred among people of different castes, creeds and religions, or may satirise national
ideals, undermine people and harm the unity and solidarity of the country, intrude on privacy, impede state security and hurt religious values and non-communal spirit.
The draft seeks a ban on publishing anything indecent that
might affect children's psyche or something that might encourage harassment and violence against women and children.
The online media is not allowed to publish photographs and footage of murders and dead bodies that hurt human
feelings. Besides, there will be a ban on publishing abusive and terrorising photographs and videos of local and foreign films which militate against the culture of the country, according to the draft.
The conditions and restrictions
relating to advertisements in the draft online policy are also similar to those of the broadcast policy:
It puts restrictions on online publication of any information or advertisements that might hamper friendly
relations with foreign countries or may cause conflict with a friendly state.
Moreover, the online media will not be allowed to publish any advertisements, containing language and scenes that may hurt political and religious
sentiment. No photographs or video footage of mosques, temples and churches can be used in advertisements for commercial purposes.
At present, anyone can launch a website and put information, photographs, video or audio clips there.
Many government officials, especially deputy commissioners (DCs), have been pressing for a policy to impose restrictions on such online media workings.
India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has banned another film dealing with the turbulence of 1984. Dilli 1984 , based on the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, has not been certified on the grounds that the board could not even suggest cuts as
the entire film was disturbing.
The film was screened before the board on August 14 and was denied a certificate four days later.
The film's director Ashok Gupta, said:
We had kept the film very close to the
reality and showed the truth which apparently was uncomfortable.
In the latest blow for free speech, the government of the southern Indian state of Karnataka has passed legislation that makes it illegal to upload, share, or like content with a view to hurt religious sentiments knowingly or unknowingly .
in June, Karnataka police warned citizens about the type of things that were covered by the Information Technology Act:
Citizens are warned not to upload, modify, resend (forward) and like (share) malicious or
misleading images, videos and messages through any medium with a view to hurt religious sentiments knowingly or unknowingly. Citizens are encouraged to inform the Police Control Room at...
New legislation, the lengthily named
Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug-offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Slum-Grabbers and Video or Audio Pirates (Amendment) Bill, 2014, means that citizens can now actually be arrested if they have even
committed an offence under the Information Technology Act.
Kaum De Heere is a 2014 India drama by Ravinder Ravi Starring R aj Kakra , Gurpreet
Ghuggi , and Rahul Devi
India has banned the release of a film based on the assassination of
former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, after complaints it glorified her killers. The film, Kaum De Heere , (Real Heroes), had been scheduled for release on Friday.
It tells the story of Ms Gandhi's Sikh bodyguards who shot her dead
apparently to avenge her decision to send troops in a deadly raid on the Golden Temple. Sikhs say thousands were murdered when the army entered Sikhism's holiest shrine in Amritsar to flush out militants. Mrs Gandhi's assassination triggered an outburst
of communal violence targeted at Sikhs and more than 3,000 Sikhs were killed in attacks across India.
Officials of the home and information and broadcasting ministries and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) saw the film again and
deemed it not fit for release. Chief film censor Leela Samson said after a review of the movie:
We saw the film and decided that it must not be released.
The home ministry earlier voiced serious
concern at the content of the Punjabi film, and asked the I&B ministry to take a relook at its clearance. It said the Punjabi-language film Kaum De Heere may affect communal harmony in Punjab and other northern states.
There were reports that
CBFC CEO Rakesh Kumar, who was arrested by the CBI recently for corruption, had previously cleared the film after allegedly taking Rs 100,000.
The Congress Party - which Indira Gandhi led - had previously threatened to carry out protests if the
film was released and the party's youth wing also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for the film to be banned, saying it presented her assassins as heroes.
In the UK, the film was passed 15 uncut for strong bloody violence.
After Kaum De Heere was banned the producer of controversial film has threatened to take legal action against the censor board. The producers say, the
prohibition is not justified given that it is based on true incidents, as per the findings of the Justice Thakkar Commission that had probed the assassination. Moreover, contrary to media reports the film does not portray the killers as heroes but
presents the actual chain of events and give biographical accounts of Satwant, Beant and Kehar Singh.
Satish Katiyal stated:
We are consulting our lawyer. First, we will file a case against the censor board. We
will go to court and then we will go to public. There is nothing controversial in the film. The Centre has banned the film due to political pressure. It is a rumour that we bribed to get our film cleared from censor board.
A top official of India's film censorship board has been questioned by police from the Central Bureau of Investigation over an allegedl demand for Rs 70,000 from a certified agent for clearing a regional film.
The agency searched Rakesh Kumar's house
and also arrested an agent and advisory panel member.
Sources said an authorised agent for censor certification had approached CBI alleging that another agent Shripati Mishra has been demanding Rs 70,000 on behalf of Rakesh Kumar for issuing the
censor certificate for regional language film of Chhattisgarh Mor Dauki Ke Bihav.
After getting the complaint, CBI laid a trap at number of locations to catch the suspects while receiving the bribe for arranging the censor board clearance
for the movie.
India's information and broadcasting ministry is set to overhaul the system of film certification after the name of Central Board of Film Certification CEO Rakesh
Kumar came up in a CBI case into alleged corruption.
It is understood that the government has taken a serious view of the case in which two senior official have already been caught allegedly seeking a bribe from regional film maker for according
certification for a film.
Sources stated that the information and broadcasting ministry could make an announcement for the revamp of the entire film certification process. It is learnt that the current process has come under scrutiny as it leaves
a lot of scope for corruption and is considered to be lacking transparency.
Indian police from the CBI have now arrested Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) CEO Rakesh Kumar in an alleged bribery case.
Last week the CBI had registered a case against Kumar and also arrested an authorized censor agent and an advisory panel member of the CBFC for demanding a Rs 70,000 bribe on the behalf of the CEO to urgently clear a film from Chhattisgarh. The CBI
had conducted search on Kumar's residence last week and had recovered large amounts of cash, gold jewellery and property documents.
The CBI said the complainant, an authorized agent for censor certification, had approached the CBFC on behalf of a
producer of a regional language film, Mor Dauki Ke Bihav , for its early clearance. The film was to be released on August 15. CBI officials said they had been receiving information about bribe demands by Kumar. Unless the producers approached
the CBFC through select agents, he would delay issuing censor certificates, an official said earlier.
Hollywood films have traditionally been given more leeway than Indian home grown films when it comes to kissing. But now in a bid to stop such allegations of discrepancy, Indian films censors have started cutting kissing scenes in American movies too.
In a current example, the Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) has censored a deep-mouth French kiss in the Lasse Hallstrom's The 100 Foot Journey which features Om Puri and Helen Mirren as two warring restaurateurs who come together to cook
up a romantic dish.
A source close to the CBFC said:
The CBFC gave Reliance Big Entertainment, the co-producers of 100 Foot Journey the choice of keeping the French kiss with a 'UA' (parental guidance)
certificate. But Reliance has opted to take a 'U' certificate without the French kiss, as it (the U certification) allows a much wider spectrum of audience to watch the film.
The earlier logic that westerners are more comfortable
with indulging in and watch smooching does not apply any more. When we allowed kissing to remain in Hollywood films, Indian producers would point accusing fingers at them asking why there couldn't be kissing in their scenes. So no, from now on if you
want a serious kiss-and we are not talking about just a peck which the CBFC allows anyway-then be prepared for a UA certification.
She may be Pakistan's sweetheart, but the country's most highly paid actress, Humaima Malik, says she worries about how home audiences will respond to her latest on-screen romance - soon she'll be seen locking lips with Indian co-star Emraan Hashmi in
her first Bollywood starring role.
With this kiss, Malik joins the line-up of Pakistani female actors who have crossed the border to India, and - in the eyes of some - to infamy.
But the backlash against our girls going across the
border to seek fame and fortune has always been extreme in conservative Pakistan. People feel that kissing the enemy is simply not on - not halal . In fact, until recently, kisses were invariably censored in all films shown in Pakistani cinemas.
Humaima Malik's kiss is unlikely to pass the Pakistan censors, who always seem to take patriotic umbrage at such close fraternising with the Indians. Bollywood may be bigger and brighter, but Lollywood (based in Lahore) and the Pakistani army are determined to bring our girls back to Pakistani cinema.
The Indian censor board raised an objection over the way the name Abdullah has been mispronounced in the upcoming film Entertainment and has requested the film's makers to change it.
A character is named Abdullah, which is a very
sacred name. Throughout the film other characters keep mispronouncing Abdullah's name, calling him all sorts of things like 'arashogollah' and 'amashallah', a source told IANS .
The source said the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC)
asked the film's producers to change the name to avoid hurting religious sentiments.
In response to the request, the name was changed from Abdullah to Habibulllah in the movie.
Commenting on the matter from a Pakistani
perspective, Sindh's censor board chairperson Fakhr-e-Alam said he has asked distributors to either remove all the scenes where the name Abdullah is mentioned or mute the dialogues before the film is shown in Pakistan. He said:
Abdullah is a very sacred name and it has been used in a derogatory fashion in the movie
A source from the film makers commented:
It was a lot of hard work since the jokes on the
name occur very often. But there was no other option; we can't afford to take the risk of hurting religious sentiments.
The source added that the CBFC also ordered the removal of a shot showing a character throwing a trishul (trident) across the screen:
The CBFC doesn't want any Hindu organisation asking why the trishul was used as a weapon.
The CBFC also objected to the use of term HIV in a comical dialogue.
Tension prevails in Goa over the staging of a controversial theatre drama (Tiatr): Atankwadi Goeant Naka (Goa doesn't need terrorists).
Following a demand made by Sriram Sena for the arrest of the writer-director Tousif Shaikh for trying
to portray Pramod Mutalik in bad light, the director Saturday morning decided not to hold the drama. Today was to be the premier show of the Tiatr .
The play has targeted Pramod Mutalik. What right does anyone have to portray Mutalik as
a terrorist? , Gangadhar Kulkarni, general secretary of Sriram Sena questioned.
Besides those who had booked tickets for the show, a large number of people have gathered outside the venue amidst strong police presence. The Tiatr goers have
demanded with the director that they would protest if he doesn't go ahead with the show.
The controversy over this Tiatr comes in the wake of a direction given by Ravindra Bhavan to give an undertaking that they would not criticize the government,
MLAs or ministers last week. After the matter was raised in the assembly, the manager denied it and later withdrew the instructions.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a 2014 USA / Germany / UK comedy by Wes Anderson. Starring Ralph Fiennes, F Murray Abraham and Mathieu Amalric.
GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary
concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune --
all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.
The guardian of Indian innocence and sensibility, the Censor Board, has edited a little more than four minutes off Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel
even though the film was awarded an adults only 'A' rating.
One of the montages that has been cut establishes that the film's flamboyant hero and the hotel's head concierge Gustave H as a womaniser. The deleted shot shows Gustave delicately eating
grapes while getting a blow job.
The lengthiest cut in the Indian version of Anderson's film has absolutely no reference to anything even vaguely sexual. It involves four convicts, one concierge, some dessert, hatching a cunning plan for a jail
The plotting is cut along with a scene in which the convicts stay up past the official bedtime to dig through the cement floor of their cell with smuggled in tools .
Presumably the escape plan is a good one as the Indian authorities
presumably fear that is could be using in Indian prisons.
Filmmakers from Bengal, who have releases lined up in the coming months, are in a spot of bother.
The advisory committee of the regional censor board was dissolved at the beginning of July. Not only is there a colossal backlog, no film can be censored
before another panel is set up. A source explained:
On July 1, the committee was dissolved as panel members were not available. Till further notification from the I&B ministry, the new committee cannot be formed.
A committee can only be formed after the I&B ministry sends a notification to the Central Board of Film Certification and from there, the message is communicated to regional offices. No regional office can enrol new members
without informing the ministry.
The panel included 90 members and the least number required during a film's screening is just four. But the lack of available panelists may be down to a dispute with filmmakers. Krishna Daga,
vice-president Eastern India Motion Pictures Association said:
Many filmmakers are complaining against the regional censor board officials; most say their films are unnecessarily sent to the revising committee. I am
planning to send the written complaints to Rakesh Kumar, CEO, CBFC.
The filmmakers in Kerala have to walk a fine line to get their films certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which has
insufficient members. Since last month, the number of members has come down to 10, which was around 65 before.
As per the guidelines, a panel of five members should be present for every sitting (censoring). Of that, one member should be the
examining officer and two members should be females. Now, there are only two members, Shahida Kamal and Bindu Balakrishnan, available to attend the censoring of every movie that comes before the Board.
The female members are supposed to assess the
content of the movies, and object if there are any scenes that portray women in a derogatory manner. According to a source, currently, the censoring of movies is being done according to the availability of the two members:
If any of the two members is not able to attend the screening the whole procedure would be affected. It is mandatory that two female representatives should be present for every screening.
According to M Jacob
Abraham, examining officer at CBFC, procedures for selecting new members have now started.
Nominations for 55 new members have been sent to the Ministry. They will be posted soon after the procedures are completed:
Update: Crisis! Not enough censors other states too
With the regional offices of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) lying virtually defunct in Kolkata, filmmakers from the whole
of the eastern region are facing hurdles in getting censor certificates to facilitate release of their new films.
The advisory panels have been dissolved in Guwahati, Cuttack, Bangalore, Trivandrum and Chennai too with effect from July 1.
Only Mumbai and Hyderabad are functioning, said regional officer B Ganopadhyay. This was confirmed by CBFC chairperson Leela Samson who is amazed that filmmakers are not protesting about this grave issue .
Sex Tape is a 2014 USA comedy by Jake Kasdan. Starring Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz and Rob Corddry.
A married couple wake up to discover that the sex
tape they made the evening before has gone missing, leading to a frantic search for its whereabouts.
UK: rated 15 uncut for strong sex references, sex, very strong language, drug use
US: Rated R (17) for
strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use.
India: The film was banned by the CBFC in July 2014
A source from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) says, Owing to excess vulgarity
in the film, we have decided to not certify the film.
A former member of the board says:
Hollywood films are usually viewed as 'more corruptible' than Hindi films and they get rejected for their overt sexual
content and brutal violence. But in the case of Hindi films, producers get away with a lot more.
Also, Hollywood films that have sexually provocative themes or titles tend to bear the brunt. It is a knee-jerk reaction and is not
the right way to certify films. Why shouldn't an adult film be cleared with an A certificate? Aren't 18-year-olds mature enough to watch films with sexual or violent content?
The director of an Indian investigative documentary that tracks the events leading to the Muzaffarnagar riots last year and is anti-BJP in tone, said the West Bengal government's decision to cancel the film's screening at a state-run cultural
centre reflects its refusal to take on the BJP .
The Muzzafarnagar riots in Uttar Pradesh last year left nearly 40 people dead according to some estimates, and over 50,000 homeless.
The documentary En Dino Muzaffarnagar by
filmmaker Shubhradeep Chakravorty and Meera Chaudhury explores how the BJP swung the caste differences between the Jats and Muslims, in their favour to garner maximum votes in alliance with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), right before the crucial
Lok Sabha elections in May this ye ar .
The documentary which was rejected by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), but screened at Mumbai's Prithvi Theatre in April, was scheduled for a showing at Kolkata's Charukala Bhavan in