Of late, there has been a lot of uproar regarding what the general public should see and they should not!
Some people say that the public is mature enough to decide that while others argue about the content being too explicit for society.
That brings us to ask
“To censor or not to censor,
Is that a question?”
In the 21st century, one should expect to have liberty.
Whatever people express, they do so to share their views with everyone else, if that basic right of expression is snatched away from them, which is a violation of a fundamental right, then comes the problem.
The department of digital media has suffered some great blows. Take the case of the film called Water: it was banned in our country, but eventually went on to represent at the best foreign-language category at the Oscars! Did that affect the success that the film got, depends on what one thinks to be a success! If it is getting accolades, then the movie did excellently well. Or, if success is seen as reaching out to the masses then I must say it was a huge failure, but not at any fault of their own. The movie was snatched out of the reach of the masses by the “Scissors”. Not long ago, Pahlaj Nihalani, the then head of CBFC was (again) under fire for censoring the flicks like Udta Punjab and Spectre a little too much. Udta Punjab came in the line of fire as it threw light on the pre-existing drug problems in Punjab whereas the hullabaloo around Spectre was a funny one. Kissing scenes of Bond were deliberately cut short, because, humans don’t kiss now, do they? It also implies that Indian society can’t decide for itself what to watch and what not too. It is, I believe an insult to the intellect of our people.
Salman Rushdie’s famous book The Satanic Verses was not only banned but he was also issued a death sentence by the then Supreme Leader of Iran: Ayatollah Khomeini.
The genre of Rap has also come under much flak starting from its initiation with the likes of N.W.A to Eminem and DMX.
Another one is the gaming industry.
Many games tell great stories but sadly they are underappreciated, now there has been snipping in this genre too! Numerous games have been banned in different countries because of their explicit content and as a result, the ideas that some of these games try to spread are getting lost! In this case, however, some censorship can be justified as the famous “No Russian” mission in the Call of Duty franchise can be very sensitive to certain communities.
The above citations represent not even a slice of the vast pre-existing gamut of works of expressions which have been denied/hindered the light of day since time immemorial.
What’s the point of art if people can’t analyse it or let it analyse life properly? Certain rules and regulations about the appropriate viewing audience are justifiable but absolute deletion is not! The very concept of something being “Adult” just because it shows skin is not justifiable!
The content is what matters!
Certification, not absolute censorship, is perhaps the better route.
Censorship, however, is the best unpaid marketing.
Recent history bears proof of that, and that’s the funny thing with history you know: it has a knack of repeating itself!