I&B Ministry calls for truce between filmmakers and the CBFC #censorship #bollywood

VICKEY LALWANI, Mumbai MirrorMar 29, 2013, 11.54AM IST
(A still from Dabangg )

I&B Ministry calls for truce between filmmakers and the CBFC over censorship issues

At a time when Hindi films have come under criticism for disrespectful portrayal of women, and Censor Board decisions are increasingly being viewed as arbitrary, the Information & Broadcasting Ministry has stepped in to broker peace between the warring parties – the producers and the Board.

The bone of contention being the Cinematograph Act 1952 that the film industry thinks is outdated. The I&B Ministry has called for a meeting with all parties concerned between April 3 and April 5, though the venue hasn’t been decided yet. Representing the film industry will be Farhan Akhtar, Ramesh Sippy, President of the Producers’ Guild Mukesh Bhatt, President of the Association of Motion Pictures and TV Programme Producers (AMTPP) Sajid Nadiadwala and Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association Chief TP Agarwal.

Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Chief Leela Samson and CBFC CEO Pankaja Thakur will represent the censors. Also present will be senior members from the special panel that was instituted under the chairmanship of judicial expert Mukul Mudgal to review the functioning of the Censor Board.

The meeting will set the pace for the necessary amendments to the Cinematograph Act 1952, after taking into consideration suggestions by all concerned. Special song and dance numbers, foul language, and scenes portraying actors and actresses smoking and drinking are likely to be discussed during the meet.

Agarwal confirmed the news and said: “The very fact that the meeting spans three days indicates we are going to have a very long discussion. I am very optimistic about the outcome.” Said Mukesh Bhatt: “Today, there is a lot of ambiguity about what will be cut and what will go through. As things stand, there are no guidelines.”

Meanwhile, a filmmaker on the condition of anonymity, said censors seem to have turned a bit too prudish. “Recently, Leela Samson assured there is a wrong impression within the film industry that the Censor Board has adopted a rule to certify all special numbers with an ‘A’ (adults only) certificate. Despite the assurance, filmmakers are extremely cagey. The meeting on April 3 is very good news for the films being made,” the source said.

On the subject of special numbers – particularly Fevicol Se from Dabangg 2 and Sheila Ki Jawaani from Tees Maar Khan – having faced a lot of flak, a leading producer (on request of anonymity), said: “It isn’t now that special numbers have come into existence. One can think of many actresses in the past who have done such numbers. Is it that the censors turned a blind eye to them simply because they weren’t lead actresses? Moreover, cuss words are chopped in one film while they are retained in another film. What are the rules? Who draws the line, and where?”

Writer-director Rensil D’Silva said: “Too much money rides on movies. If there is clarity, there will be no jolts at the time we submit our films to the censors.”

When contacted, I&B Minister Manish Tewari said: “We already have a panel headed by judicial expert Mukul Mudgal to look into certain issues which the film industry has. But if they still have some issues, we are ready to walk the extra mile.


#Chhattisgarh govt to probe on botched rural eye camp #medicalnegligence

BS Reporter / Kolkata/ Raipur Dec 18, 2012, 00:08 IST

Chhattisgarh government, on Monday , has ordered a probe on the botched eye camp held in Mahasamund district in which 15 patients allegedly lost their vision.

The patients mostly from the rural pocket, had undergone cataract surgeries in the camp. The preliminary investigation suggested that they developed infection post surgeray. The state government had shifted all the infected patients to a hospital here for better treatment.

The state’s health minister, Amar Agrawal on Monday visited the hospital and talked to the patients. “A probe has been ordered and strict action will be taken against the doctors found guilty for any negligence in the camp,” Agrawal said.

Senior health official and eye expert Dr Subhash Mishra has been asked to investigate the matter and submit a report to the government within 10 days.

He announced that the state government would bear the entire expenditure for medical treatment of these patients.

The camp was organized by a social organisation Shree Krishna Agrawal Memorial Trust at the Community Health Centre at Bagbahra, about 100 kms from Raipur. In the camp, 145 persons had undergone the surgery that too in just two days on December 9 and 10.

The health department officials said Dr Charu Dutt Kalamkar and Amrita Mukherjee from the Trust and Dr PC Patra from the state government performed and supervised the surgeries in the camp.

After the surgery, 15 patients including eight women developed swelling and pus in the operated eye. When the matter spilled out in open, the authorities immediately shifted them to MGM eye hospital in Raipur.

The doctors attending on them confirmed that the seriousness of the matter and said the possibility of their sight recovery was bleak.


#India- #Chhattsigarh pays Kareena Kapoor 1.40 crore, while 1 lakh children suffer malnutrition in the state

While over  over 1 lakh children are suffering malnutrition in Bastar,thE tribal region of chhattisgarh, while 80 prisoners including women are HIV positive in chhattisgarh, for more than a year Soni Sori a tribal teacher has been tortured, sexually assaulted, denied basic  HUMAN rights in chhattisgarh, and NCW says Soni Sori needs psychological counselling or she might die,  The Chhattisgarh government admitted on Thursday that it paid a whopping sum of Rs 1.40 crore to Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor for her performance in November at the state’s anniversary function.


In a written reply to Congress member Mohammed Akbar in the state assembly, Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Brijmohan Agrawal, who holds the tourism and culture portfolios as well, said that 245 artistes performed during the weeklong (November 1-7) state foundation anniversary – Rajayotasava 2012- celebrations held in various districts and the government paid over Rs 5 crore to them.

The total expenditure as honorarium to 245 artistes, that included 42 artistes from outside the state, during Rajayotasava 2012 was Rs 5,21,22,500, the minister said. He also listed details of per person honorarium paid out by the government, with Kareena Kapoor topping the list at Rs 1,40,71,000. Kareena performed at main Rajayotasava venue at Naya Raipur on November 1 and her show was hardly for eight minutes.

The government also paid heavy amount to other artistes such as Sonu Nigam (Rs 36,50,000), Sunidhi Chauhan (Rs 32,00,000), Dia Mirza (Rs 25,00,000), Himesh Reshamia (Rs 24,00,000) and Pankaj Udhas (Rs 90,000).

The minister also informed the house that his department spent Rs 54,62,461 on inviting the artistes and their travel expenditure while the bill for artistes’ lodging and food was put at Rs 11,67,956.

Muslim- Prejudice -‘Justice came to me only to make me realise that I was guilty until proven innocent’


Mohammad Aamir, Delhi
Age 32 | Years In Jail 14
Arrested February 1998 | Acquitted January 2012

Mohammad Aamir

Photo: Ishan Tankha

FOURTEEN YEARS is a long time. Wiping away the tears streaming down his cheeks, Mohammad Aamir recounts his experience of when he stepped out of the Rohtak Jail on 9 January 2012.

The world seemed different. The guards were gone. So was the feeling of iron always chaining his limbs. “That was real freedom. I tasted it. I wept and cried in happiness. After three hours of riding a bus, I was home hugging my mother,” he says. But the Delhi Aamir knew had changed. Mobile phones, the Metro rail, roads, flyovers, buildings and bazaars — everything was new. The only old thing was his crumbling house.

“After seeing my mother, I went to see my father’s grave. He died waiting for my release,” Aamir says.

Forgotten by the press during his 14-year incarceration in jails across three states, Mohammad Aamir of old Delhi became their favourite after being acquitted in 18 of 20 cases of terrorism (appeals made in two other cases are pending).

Now, as he sits quietly before a computer in the office of ANHAD, an NGO in central Delhi, Aamir, 32, is penning a memoir of his passage from incarceration to redemption. Fourteen years behind bars have cost him much more than his youth. Not only did he lose his father, his mother was also paralysed in the interim.

In 1996-97, a couple of low intensity blasts had hit the national capital region (NCR), leaving the police in a tizzy. This was the time when the Khalistan movement in Punjab was fading and the Kashmir insurgency was at its pinnacle. The homegrown Indian Mujahideen (IM) was, however, nowhere in the arena. The police had no strong lead to follow. Then, in what looks like a meticulous plan to frame a young boy, the police claimed to have busted a terror module in February 1998.

Aamir was seized when he was returning home after saying Isha prayers. Bundled into a jeep, he was blindfolded before being dumped in an unidentified place for seven days, where he was tortured and made to sign on blank papers.

On 28 February, he was produced in the Tis Hazari court, charged with 17 cases in Delhi, including murder, sedition and waging war against the Indian State. Among the charges were two blasts in Haryana and one in 1996, on the Frontier Mail (train) in Ghaziabad.

“Getting me justice wasn’t easy for my father,” says Aamir. “Lawyers who would agree to fight cases charged a lot of money. Some quit midway after a local paper dubbed me a Pakistani national.

One by one, the prosecution evidence was disproved in the courts. But it was too late,” he rues. “My father died in 2001. The way justice was done only made me realise that I was guilty until proven innocent,” Aamir adds mockingly.

Now, at ANHAD’s office, Aamir hopes to finish his memoir and heads a forum for demanding the rehabilitation of falsely implicated youth.

Explains activist Shabnam Hashmi of ANHAD: “Writing a memoir is a healing process for Aamir. He is finishing his BA from IGNOU and aims to study law to help people like him.”

Aamir’s efforts have already started paying off. This is evident from the recently prepared list of 33 young men that now lies with the president.

The CPM demanded compensation for these men, special courts to settle such cases within a year and action against policemen found fabricating evidences.

Baba Umar is a Senior Correspondent with Tehelka.



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