Freeing cinema

New panel headed by Shyam Benegal marks a welcome change from the gov's choices to run the CBFC and FTII

In the preface to his play Mrs. Warren’s Profession, George Bernard Shaw wrote: “The first condition of progress is the removal of censorship." The government seems to have recognized this profound truth. In a welcome step, it has set up a panel to suggest measures for the revamp of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), often called the Censor Board given its penchant for censorship.

Just about a year ago, the chairman of CBFC Pahlaj Nihalani had come out with an absurd list of cuss words that he wanted film audiences to be protected from. The new panel headed by Shyam Benegal marks a welcome change from the government’s choices to run the CBFC and Film and Television Institute of India. The minister for information and broadcasting Arun Jaitley has said film certification guidelines need contemporary interpretation and should be made non-discretionary. One hopes more ministers will embrace such a liberal outlook.

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