Millennium Post

Don’t want to censor films: Rathore

The government has cleared the air, post a string of controversies related to the censor board stung them, saying it “does not believe in censoring films.” 

“For several years, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has acted in a certain manner guided by its rules framed in 1952. Irrespective of who takes over as the CBFC chairman, cuts have always been there. It is not a question of which government is in power or who is the chairman,” MoS for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore told Millennium Post. 

“But for the first time, we have taken a historic decision, which signifies that we as a government are not interested in censoring films. On January  1, this year, we announced a panel headed by Shyam Benegal and other eminent personalities, who will look into the overall functioning of the Censor Board. This is historic step, because not only have we told them to change the rules but also the staff,” he said 

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) had constituted the committee to ensure holistic interpretation of the provisions of the Cinematograph Act and Rules.

Apart from Benegal, the committee comprises actor Kamal Haasan, filmmakers Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Gautam Ghose, adman Piyush Pandey, film critic Bhawana Somaaya and some officials. The panel was created by the government after several controversies struck the CBFC.

Rathore stressed that a key focus of the government is “to improve communication with people in India.”  He said, “We have to improve the ability of the government to communicate with people, which is getting better with the outreach programmes of FM Radio and community radios. We are using technology and human resource to reach out to the people. Also, we recently launched ‘Bharat 2016 Reference Annual’ books, which give a complete publication of the country’s progress in various fields.”

Talking about digitisation in the country, he said, “In the direct-to-home (DTH) sphere, there are seven primary players. About 40 million people in India are on DTH and of this, approximately 29 million are on freedish (Public broadcaster Doordarshan’s free direct-to-home (DTH) service – Freedish). The range of our DTH- freedish is the most expansive. The set top boxes had a deadline to be completely installed by March 21, 2015.” 

“In some cities, this hasn’t happened. Some operators have gone to court and in fact in a few cities in Sikkim and Odisha the deadline has been extended by 2-3 months. This is absolutely fine with us, till they eventually do complete the installation process. As it will eventually improve the quality of service to the consumer and also enhance the revenue collection by the government. So it is in both ways when you will have DAS (digital addressable system).” he said.
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