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Mind Text
A P R I L 2 0 0 7

Editor: Hariprasad R.C.

Centre For Public Policy Research

Nadakkavu Post
Ernakulam - 682 307

Editorial 3
View point
Reservation vs Social Justice 4
View point
Political Agenda for Kerala’s Development 5
April Fooled 7
Reality check
Film Censorship 8
Wake up 12
Reflections 13
JAM 13
Reverberations 13
Photo Gallery 14

CPPR is not responsible for the views expressed in this journal. Authors own responsibility for their articles

Mind Text APRIL

2007  2

The Wait to be Indians…

Is there a need to “become” Indians?
Or is it an identity that is automatically ingrained in us?
Well, let me confess that I am not an expert in the topic of cultural identity and
things of the sort. But the point of posing this question is not to kick start an
intellectual hungama on the same. It is just a basic question that, I believe, is to
be addressed at the level of an ordinary Indian; a question that seeks its answer
from the contours of India’s cultural and historical evolution as a nation. It is
also a question that needs to be answered by the young and the old alike.
India is also known by the name Bharath. In fact the word has a distinct
meaning of its own.
“Bha+Ratah means “One who revels in the Light of wisdom”. This country stands
for a life of dynamic activity in the clear light of true wisdom. Spiritual India,
Bharat, has no boundaries - she sways her divine sceptical over world. Wherever
there be one who lives courageously in the Light of Wisdom, stretching himself to
reach the Supreme, he is a Bharateeya, a true Indian.”- “Arise O Bharata”
(Uttishtha Bharata)
Not many countries have such a deep suggestion of what their people should
aspire for embodied into the very name of their country. And this immense depth
of wisdom that is beautifully wrapped in a variety of ways and handed down to
us over the ages is something that every Indian should be proud of. So, does
merely born in this great land alone makes one an Indian, or rather being born
to parents who hold an Indian citizenship alone makes one an Indian in the true
sense of the term? Well, only technically one may think that the answer is yes.
Being an Indian it is our privilege to explore the pearls of wisdom that beckon us
from the depths of the culture of our nation. A person who has thus known the
greatness of this nation will surely feel the irresistible pride in becoming the
son/daughter of this land. A society which has realized this wisdom will be
cleansed off all the impurities that it has by the magnanimity of the thought of
its people. A government which has understood this will show the courage to
administer the nation keeping in mind the sanctity and greatness of the nation.
But unfortunately many are not even aware of the heights to which they are to
supposed to raise this nation. Instances are numerous to quote. From the
human trafficking cases by MPs, fake encounters supported by governments,
and manipulating the reservation provision to influence vote banks, the list can
go on endlessly. On one hand caste system is criticized and the same people who
does this keep it alive in the minds of the people through reservations that do
little good to the deserving ones. So, can such people be called true Indians who
has not the courage to live their convictions in the light of the wisdom handed
down by the ages.
So the issue has two sides to it. On one hand the wait is for the people to be
awakened to the true glory of the nation and thus be true Indians. At the same
time, it is also a wait for the people to be recognized as Indians by those in power
rather being treated preferentially by dividing and sub-dividing them based on
religions and castes.
So the wait to be an Indian is not yet over….sixty years and still counting…

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2007  3

Social Justice
Malathy M. reservation and reduction in fees for women in
institutions of higher education.
A lmost everyday in news I hear about the Centre
and SC standoff on the OBC reservation issue.
My interest in this issue stems from the following
But at the same time I have seen my classmates
who quote their family’s annual income to be less
reasons, firstly I am awaiting my final year results than what it is to avail the benefits of the OBC
and looking forward to higher education, and quotas and incentives. These are people who have
secondly as a citizen of India. But I would also the same quality of life, the same opportunities
like to say that the purpose of this length of prose and the same social standing as any other middle
is neither to endorse nor reprimand the reservation class family. But they take the benefits that could
policy. have been given to a more deserving and needy
student. Another thing that I have observed is that
The oxford dictionary defines Reservation Policy
students acquire fake certificates proclaiming that
as “noun [U] (in India) the policy of keeping a fixed
they belong to such and such caste and thus
number of jobs or places in schools, colleges, etc.
enjoying the benefits that are not meant for them.
for people who are members of scheduled classes,
Well then, the whole purpose of reservation is lost.
scheduled tribes or other backward classes.” I am
not so well versed in the history of reservation but There is no proper statistics on the economic
I know that this policy was implemented for the or social status of the backward castes of India
emancipation and progress of a class of people who and many who are not able to avail the benefits
had been discriminated against and repressed for that they rightfully deserve due to many factors
centuries. The scheduled castes and scheduled that are either social or economical. It is argued
tribes were the most affected as they were socially that only a fraction is well off and thus it is not
and economically exploited by all other castes. right to say that the rich among the OBCs enjoy
the privileges but then it can also be interpreted
I have seen many movies, documentaries and
the other way round. A person who is deserving
read many books on the same and wonder how a
may still not get his due because he doesn’t have
human being can treat another in such a manner.
the resources to bribe officials, while a well to do
This kind of social and economic deprivation was
person (whether low or high caste) can get away
harmful for the Indian society as a whole. But the
with his monetary advantage over the other.
traces of the same can be seen even today, not
just in villages but also among the educated class I think there is bound to be loopholes in any
of India. The social prejudice against the SC/ST/ policy but the best way would be to grant
OBCs still exists even though many of them have reservation on both economic and social criterion.
come up against the odds. The caste system But most importantly social reforms and
remains rampant as can been seen in the many awareness is important to improve the situation
ads of matrimonial. Their still exists varying of the repressed. The reservation policy is a short
degrees of animosity between the ‘high’ and ‘low’ term or stopcock measure that doesn’t address the
which is seen more when there are discussions actual issue, which is the change in the mindset
on reservation policies. of people. There needs to be an earnest effort from
the educated and forward public to educate our
Another thing is that it is the women of both
fellow countrymen rather than hanging on to this
the higher (especially Brahmins, Rajputs, and the
age old system which has well outlived its purpose.
Andharjanams) and the lower castes who have
undergone the maximum repression and Malathy is a final year student of St.Teresa’s College,
exploitation in society. There should be a special Cochin. She is associated with the Centre.

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2007  4
D. Dhanuraj a few leaders. This has resulted in
the unworthy doings of the
K erala is known to outside world for her high literacy rate and
impeccable health status; both are comparable to the developed
countries. The first democratically elected communist Government
political class leading to the
inculcation of hatred and doubts
based on political lines irrespective
followed by the Kerala model of development. Today, there are many
of how better the governance is.
research studies questioning the veracity of the so called development
which has led to discussions on the development path the state has to The leadership has failed to
adopt in the new century. It is interesting to note that people from all understand the changes
walks of life are involved in these debates which show the prevailing happening around them. Mere
mood in the state over the concept of development. There are many political slogans will not satisfy the
grey areas neglected by both the academia and the political leaders requirements of the day. Rather a
alike over the years. concerted efforts taking into
account the over all change in the
Kerala is known for her natural beauty and hospitality. Once, the
attitude and state of affairs of the
state was notorious for the communal hatred and caste discrimination.
whole population shall be the
Kerala which was mostly divided into three regions prior to the state
alternative. It need not be the
formation were different from the rest of the country in various ways.
populist measures as often but a
It is the place where the colonization was process started and at the
realistic one in approach and
same time imbibed the spirit of the globalization much before the
implementation. People’s
country realigned with the market forces. Like in the sector of
Campaign was a revolution in this
education, there were much happenings in the all the spheres of life
sense. The value addition to the
in a very limited period. The ports of Kodungallur and Allapuzha played
individuals in terms of the
a major role in connecting this land to the out side world whereby
ownership rights, education
both trade and migration accentuated voluminously. This has brought
qualification, etc. can change the
in a new life into the Kerala society which is almost parallel to the
situation. There cannot be much
changes happening in the rest of the country today. A section of the
undone in certain matters like
society turned upwardly mobile while the rest continued to lead an
consumerism and middle class
impoverished life. The social and economic conditions were supportive
consciousness. We have to take
to these conditions in their own respective ways. The Cultural
the positives out of it and
Revolution towards the end of the Ninetieth century and early part of
channelise the resources towards
the twentieth century segregated the society along the demarcated
constructing a better state. The
lines of the reformation and idealistic world. The clashes between the
political class should understand
different sects of the society for their upper hand in decision making
that today’s world is not confined
could not be prevented and it led to the communal politics much before
between Arabian Sea and Western
the country witnessed it.
Ghat. Everyone is bothered about
The first communist ministry tabled the vision document on his state of affairs and
development in 1957. It was along the lines of the communist ideology understands how the outside
and from the readings and learning from the other parts of the world. world progresses. No one dares to
But the situation here warranted a policy accommodating the interests think a Malayalee is a fool. We
of the various groups who showed a hostile approach to the should capitalise on labour output,
government. This led to the fall of the ministry. The communists by educational infrastructure and
the time learnt the act of compromises over ideology. Both the political health institutions .There requires
fronts took the tactful moves of the various pressure groups formed quality improvement and flexible
on the basis of religion and money power on their stride and cut off laws to compete with the fast
from the reality. There has been no basis for the coalition formation moving world. In order to do that,
except the hunger for power. In fact, the coalition politics itself is an development cannot be indexed
offshoot of the errant political manoeuvring of the leading political with polity. But ask a question to
parties in the state over the years. The political culture has been self, “Who represents the interests
deteriorating over the years and leadership confining to the hands of of a Malayalee??”

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2007  5
party which gave them the tickets. Am I fooled
I love the first drops of rain… And I was

outdoors, enjoying the rain drenched Kochi. But
the first showers brought with them the long
nights. Within minutes, the whole city faced
power failure. Shops and other institutions had
to close their shutters on the very first day, the
rains hit Kochi. How long will this continue?

We are claiming the status of a metro, but we
all know that we are just day-dreaming, being
fools. With the ‘Smart’, ‘Hi-Tech’ and
‘International’ projects ready to unleash
themselves, our State is in a sorry state. Is the
Government making fool out of us or is it being
fool in itself. Or is that someone is trying to
Vinu make fool out of both. Well the concept of “April
Fool” itself is western. And the West has only

C ome April 1st and doubt creeps up in my mind…will

someone fool me today? Even when my sister
brought me the morning tea, I did give a second thought.
one concept – Capitalization.
Enough of being fooled, I decided to go out
With the same doubt and expectation that some one for a movie. There he comes, our larger-than-
had something in store for me, I went to my college. To life hero. His punches send some 5-7 thugs
my disappointment no one fooled me. And eventually I spiraling into the air, with that familiar whoosh
was fooled. But, I never expected the whole of India to sound. The baddies show weird gestures and
be fooled. the hero does some ‘mudraas’ with two fingers.
He quotes from some ancient scriptures. The
This April, we saw the most shameful moments in baddy is paralyzed and falls unconscious. And
Indian cricket. The underdogs shattered the “Great then what…after 15mins of stunt (which
Indian Myth” quiet humbly. The Wall, The Little Master, includes popular numbers from karate, kung-
The Master Blaster, every thing that we boasted, fu, kalari payattu, and other martial arts) the
everything that we worshiped, the pride…everything hero comes out of the whole thing, without even
went blank as the guns fell silent. It took some time for a scratch, to dance with some of the ‘sleaziest’
every one to react and then, as usual, everyone began girls. What am I, a fool? Sick of it, I run out of
the blame game. Some “tough” decisions, resignations, the movie hall. On my way back home, I decide
retirements and then? Yes, India was fooled. Fans to rent a DVD and enjoy a movie. I enter the
disassociate from the fan clubs. Now, I am not an almost-plundered video library and
adherent fan of cricket, but I was also fooled….But the unknowingly ask for a movie. Owner gives me
best part, which I loved, is that Team India expected a dirty look. (And why not, after all he was fooled
Bermuda to win….ha ha! They made an April fool out of by the anti-piracy cell.) He is no more selling
it. DVDs or VCDs he is selling recharge coupons.
Let’s stop talking cricket; I know everyone is sick of But then I change my decision. When I
it… (And also since India lost.) Let’s talk about another expected someone to make a fool of me, none
game…a dirtier game. Say politics. As a matter of fact, I did. And I was made fool of, where I least
hate politics and politicians. But when some new guy expected. Enough of being made a fool, I go
shows up, it’s natural to expect something good. So, home and doze off. It’s not just April 1st, we are
when Rahul Gandhi decided (???) to enter into politics, being made fool everyday. Or is that I am the
everyone expected that he was young and he is much only person being made a fool every day? May
educated than others. A new age guy, who knows the be all are fooling themselves. Or may be I am
perspective of the Indian youth. But voila! He is up here fooling you. Aahh! May be I am making a fool
doing what politicians do best….creating controversy. out of myself by writing about all this.
By his comments and speeches in the campaigning rally
he is indeed steering up the Hornet’s nest. It’s very By the way, I drank the morning tea that
unbecoming of a politician like him. Why not, when my sister brought me. My second thought was
politicians, who were exposed on camera taking bribes wasted. It had nothing unusual in it. April
and making drug deals by CNN IBN and who were Fooled?
sentenced by courts are back again. The Election Vinu is a Law student in Ernakulam Government Law
Commission has no problem with that neither does the College.

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2007  6

Jithin Paul Varghese The objects and reasons of the Cinematograph
Introduction Act, 1952, is of mixed content namely (a)
examination and certification of films as suitable
Britishers who ruled our country, for their
for public exhibition (b) regulating films including
entertainment brought silent films from England for
their licensing. However, some sections of the Act
private viewing. Later these films escaped their four
were amended in 1949, but only for the
walls and were publicly exhibited in places were the
introduction of “A” and “U” certificates and
Englishmen lived in groups. Slowly, it took fancy of
cerntralisation of censorship. The Cinematograph
Indians and some enterprising Indians even
Act, 1952 came into force on 12th July, 1952.
attempted to make films of such sort. Films very
soon turned out to be one of the most important In most countries there is state censorship. In
means of entertainment. As technology progressed, U.S, U.K and Japan, however the censors are non-
it was able to influence human mind in a very huge officials appointed by the film-industry.
manner and naturally, the existing legal provisions
were inadequate for the protection of public from Legal Aspects of Film Censorship
indecent or otherwise objectionable representations. Films have been accepted as a medium of
Further, the special danger from fire, which attends speech and expression governed by Art.19 (1)(a)
cinematograph exhibition, became very common and of the constitution. Hence, any law with regard to
in the interest of security of the viewers, a proper film censorship in India should come within the
standard was deemed necessary for the cinema halls. ambit of Art.19 (2), and any directions or rules
So, a need was felt to regulate exhibition of such made under the Act must satisfy the test of
films, their certification as suitable for public reasonableness, which will be ultimately decided
exhibition, as well as their regulation by means of by account of law. The most sensible way of
licensing. With these objectives the legislature came imposing film censorship is to say that the films
up with the Cinematograph Act, 1918. Later in the should not transgress the reasonable restrictions
changed circumstances, the legislature brought clause mentioned in Art.19 (2) of the constitution.
about the comprehensive legislation of
Cinematograph Act, 1952. It is permissible to enact a law making it an
In 1920, the Board of Censors was set up at offence to produce a film in which sovereignty and
Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. The Boards drew integrity of India is attacked and the exhibition of
up the general principles for the guidance of such a film can be banned. So, a film which
Inspectors of Films based on the rules of advocates or argues a case for ceding of any part
Censorship drawn up by the British Board of Film of India or alleges that any part of the territory of
Censors. The sole aim of the film censorship in India Falling within the definition set out in Article
those days was to prevent the Indians from seeing 1 of the constitution is a foreign territory or is not
derogatory films, which portrayed the Western a part of India may not be certified for public
culture. A proposal for a National Censor Board exhibition in the interest of sovereignty and
was also mooted. integrity of India.
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2007  7
A matter, which jeopardizes or endangers the According to Art.39 of the constitution, there
security of the state, may be also banned. A film is a duty on the state to protect the young against
which inculcates hatred against a particular group exploitation and moral and material abandonment,
of people may also be banned. Films affecting the also Art..19(2) of the constitution allows the state
friendly relations with foreign states is another to put reasonable restrictions on the freedom of
ground for refusing a certificate for public Speech and expression of citizens in the interests
exhibition. of “public..Decency and morality”. The cumulative
A film should not provide an incitement to act effect of these provisions seems to sustain the
illegally or violently. Some films produced in foreign legality of any act of the state, which lawfully and
countries directly or indirectly serve this purpose reasonably restrains the publication, or possession
and should not be promoted. Films should not be of “obscene” material in India. However we find
used for promoting anti-democratic and anti-social that the framers of the penal code has failed to
doctrines, nor for disseminating any kind of frame a definition for obscenity which has lead to
propaganda, political, social, regional, communal much legal controversies in Independent India. In
or religious which would make the film something Udeshis’s case8 the court said “ The word obscenity
that threatens public order. is not really vague because it is a word which is
well understood even if persons differ in their
However, the most controversial and frequently
attitudes to what is obscenity and what is not”
used restriction used is that of ‘decency and
However the court went on to say that obscenity
morality’ or material which is obscene in nature
can be understood in the following terms:
should not be exhibited, which has been even
prohibited u/s 292 Indian Penal Code. . “Decency”  That which corrupts or depraves those whose
and “morality” are vague concepts moreover elastic minds which are open to such immoral
that evolve with time and social change and vary influences.
vastly among different cultures. What may be
 That which suggests thoughts of most impure
morally acceptable for one section of the society
and libidinous character
may be outrageous to another. In Chandrakant
Kalyandas Kakodar v. State of Maharashtra1 the  That which is hard core pornography
apex court observed that such notions vary from  That which has a substantial tendency to
nation to nation depending on the standards of corrupt by arousing lustful desires.
morals of contemporary society.
Obscenity has been defined by the court as “  That which tends to arouses sexually impure
the quality of being obscene which means offensive thoughts.
to modesty or decency ;lewd ,filthy and  That which passes the permissive limits judged
repulsive”2We find that the term ‘indecent ‘ is a from our community standards
broader one than ‘decency’. . Although anything
However in Kakodar the court showed the
that is “obscene” must necessarily be “indecent” 3
courage to go beyond the Udeshi doctrine. In
what is “indecent” need not be always be
Udeshi’s case it was held that the obscene matter
“obscene”.4In other words ,while “indecent” merely
must be considered by itself and separately to
means non-conformance wit accepted standards
find out whether it is so gross and its obscenity
o f morality , “obscenity” refers to that which has
so decided that it is likely to deprave and corrupt
prurient or lascivious appeal. 5
those whose minds are open to influences of this
We find that Indian Courts have most often sort and to whose hands the book is likely to fall.
relied on the Hicklin’s Test for judging whether a But in Kakodar , which retains the Hicklins case,
particular mater is obscene or not. The test as makes it a duty of the court to consider the
propounded by J.Cockburn in R v. Hicklin6 is as allegedly obscene matter by taking an overall view
follows: of the entire work , and in doing so one must not
“ I think the test of obscenity is this, whether overlook the influence of the book on the social
the tendency of the matter charged as obscenity morality of our contemporary society. However
is to deprave and corrupt those whose minds are an important question which may be put forward
open to such immoral influences and whose hands is whether applying the standard in Kakodar to
a publication of the sort may fall.” Later the “Lady Chatterleys love” (by D. Lawrence), still the
Hicklin’s test was replaced by Roth test.7 book is termed as an obscene one. It can be
(1969)2 SCC 687 concluded that those portions which were termed
Ranjit D. Udeshi v .State of Maharashtra,AIR 1965SC 881 as obscene in Udeshi’s case were vital necessary
R v. Stanley,(1965) 1 All ER 1035
R v. Greater London Council (1976) 3All ER 184 part of the book which is of some, if not great,
FCC v. Pacific Foundation ,438 US 726 (1978) at p. 740 literary merit.
(1868) LR 3 Q.B 360,371
Roth v. U.S. 1 Led 2d (1957) 1509

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2007  8
Later on September 24,1970 the Court looked  As far as possible, the film is of aesthetic value
into the case of K.A Abbas v. Union of India.9 were and cinematically of a good standard.
the matter was related to pre-censorship and
If after a film has been examined the board
obscenity in relation to a documentary film which
considers that the film is suitable for unrestricted
had been granted “A” certificate after being
public exhibition, it shall issue to the applicant a
subjected to many cuts by the Censor board. The
certificate in Form IV .If the film is suitable only
petitioner aggrieved by these decisions approached
for exhibition to adults then a certificate is issued
the Supreme Court and challenged the
under Form V. Form VI has been issued for
constitutional validity of the Rules made under
predominantly educational films. A certificate
Section 5-B of the Cinematograph Act,1952 and
granted by the Board u/s 5-A is valid through out
that Part II of the Act itself. He contended that (a)
India for a period of ten years. The table below
pre-censorship is violative of freedom of Expression
shows the various classifications used in India for
(b) even if pre-censorship is to be tolerated ,it must
Film Certification:
be exercised on very definite principles which leave
no room for arbitrary action etc. The court agreed U Unrestricted Public exhibition
with the petitioner and allowed his petition on the UA Unrestricted Public Exhibition But With
ground that the Act and rules under it left Parental Guidance
discretion to the Board ,without proper guidelines
,left room for arbitrary action. Even though the A Restricted to adults
court treferrd top Udeshi ,it altered the law of S Restricted to any special Class of Persons
obscenity in Udeshi in a fundamental manner. In
Abbas the Court says “ Our standard must be so ∆ Sanction of any of the above category subject
framed that we are not reduced to a level where to Excisions and Modifications
the proptection of the least capable and the most _ _ Refusal for Public Exhibition
depraved amongst us determines what the morally
Source: official web-site of C.B.F.C
healthy cannot view or read. Therefiore it is not
the elements of rape, leprosy, sexual immorality An important legal question that arises in this
which should attract the censor’s scissors but how regard is whether the certificate obtained u/s 5-A
the theme is handled by the producer.” exonerates persons concerned from prosecution
Thus we find that the morality which the court under Sec.292, I.P.C by operation of general
relies in udeshi’s case is that of content; in Abbas exemption u/s 79,and Penal Code. Legally
as in Kakodar the court speaks of a new morality, speaking Section 79 makes an offence a non-
a morality of form. According to Udeshi’s case the offence when the offending act is actually justified
crucial question is “what is said” .In Kakodar and by law or is bonafide believed by mistake of fact to
Abbas the question of Importance would be : “ be so justified. This combined legal effect of S.5-A
where it is said” and “ how it is said”. The morality of the Act and S.79; I.P.C came before the Court
in Udeshi’s case is logic and critical observation. in Raj Kapoor v. Laxman10 were the court looked
The new morality in Abbas requires more : It whether the certificate of public exhibition furnish
demands expertise –a great deal of exposure to a justification in law in doing an act, which in the
and experience of the new art form. The decision absence of such certification may constitute an
in Abbas has clarified the law on pre-censorship offence u/s 292,I.P.C. The court held that
and obscenity. It has firmly established the right certification need mot mean it is justified in law
of creative writers and producers to e free from u/s 79,IPC to exhibit.
arbitrary exercise of censor’s scissors. The certificate by a high-powered board with
Certification of Films specialized composition and statutory mandate is
Section 5-A of the Act speaks about certification note a document of non-sense. It is an important
of the Films. Law has prescribed for certification document ,relevant in its impact, though not
of films due to the following reasons: infallible in its verdict. But the courts are not bared
from trying the case because the certificate is not
 The medium of film remains responsible and
sensitive to the values and standards of society;
 Artistic expression and creative freedom are not Section 5-B of the Act tries to bring out certain
unduly curbed; guidelines for the certifying authority. Section
clearly says that the film shall not be certified if in
 Certification is responsible to social changes;
the opinion of the authority, the film or any part
 The medium of film provides clean and healthy of it is against the interest of the sovereignty and
entertainment; and integrity of India ,the security of the state ,friendly
(1970) 2 SCC 781 10
AIR 1980 SC 605

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2007  9
relations with foreign states, public order, decency  that the appeal should lie to a Court or to an
or morality ,or involves defamation or contempt of independent tribunal and not the Central
court or is likely to incite the commission of any Government.
offence. Clause (2) of the section further says that
The petitioner reinforces his argument by
the central government may issue such directions
contending that there are other forms of speech
as it may think fit setting out the principles which
and expression besides the films and none of them
shall guide the authority competent to grant
is subject to any prior restraint in the form of pre-
certificates under this act in sanctioning films for
censorship and claims equality of treatment with
public exhibition. As per the guidelines issued by
such other forms. He claims that there is no
the government a film is judged in its entirety from
justification for a differential treatment. He
the point of view of its overall impact and is
contends next that even the standards laid down
examined in the light of the period depicted in the
are unconstitutional for many reasons, which we
film and the contemporary standards of the
shall state in proper place.
country and the people to whom the film relates,
provided that the film does not deprave the Court observed that guidelines should be
morality of the audience. Guidelines are applied framed for censorship and warned that much care
to the titles of the films also. should be taken. Court observed:
Opinion of the courts It is not the elements of rape leprosy, sexual
immorality which should attract the censor’s
In K. A. Abbas v. Union of India11 the petitioner scissors but how the theme is handled by, the
for the first time challenged the validity of producer. It must however, be remembered that
censorship as violative of his fundamental right of the cinematograph is a powerful medium and its
speech and expression. appeal is different. The horrors of war as depicted
The petition seeked a declaration against the in the famous etchings of Goya do not horrify one
Union of India and the Chairman Central Board so much as the same scenes rendered in colour
of Film Censors that the provisions of Part II of and with sound and movement would do. We may
the Cinematograph Act, 1952 together with the view a documentary on the erotic tableaux from
rules prescribed by. the Central Government, our ancient temples with equanimity or read the
February 6, 1960, in the purported exercise of its Kamasutra but a documentary from them as a
powers under Section 5-B of the Act are practical sexual guide would be abhorrent.
unconstitutional and void. We have said all this to show that the items
The petitioner was aggrieved by the decision of mentioned in the directions are not by themselves
the censor board to delete certain shots from a “de- fective”
documentary film entitled ‘A Tale of Four Cities’, The tone and tenor of the dialogues in this film
produced by him for unrestricted public exhibition reflect the nuances locally and habitually used and
Later the government decided to grant a spoken in the villages and in the ravines of the
permission for exhibition and then the petitioner Chambal, not bereft of expletives used for force
decided to challenge the very constitutionality of and effect by way of normal and common parlance
pre-censorship. The petitioner contended that a in those parts; these expletives are not intended
person who invests his capital in promoting or to be taken literally. there is nothing senusal or
producing a film must have clear guidance in sexual
advance in the matter of censorship of films even
if the law of pre-censorship were not violative of about these expletives used as they are in
the fundamental right. ordinary and habitual course as part of the
Petitioner basically raised the following language in those parts and express as they do
arguments: emotions such as anger, rage, frustration and the
like, and represent as they do the colour of the
 that pre-censorship itself cannot be tolerated various locales in this film.”
under the freedom of speech and expression,
 that even if it were a legitimate restraint on the The film was forwarded to the appellate tribunal
freedom, it must be exercised on very definite which gave considerable scrutiny to the film and
principles which leave no room for arbitrary observed that the
action, Conclusion
 that there must be a reasonable time-limit fixed A violation of Cinematograph Act is a common
for the decision of the authorities censoring the phenomenon. The Government has appointed
film, and detective agencies to carry out checks in cinema
AIR 1971 SC 481 halls to all regional centres of the Central Board
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2007  10
of Film Certification (CBFC) in the 10th Plan. The public screening of offensive films have as
Minister for Information and Broad Casting in2002 much right to protest as those who espouse the
said that the Agency carried out checks in 1859 cause of “freedom of ex-pression.”
theatres in the four metropolitan cities and caused
It is a well-established precept in Political
31 cases to be registered. The number of
Philosophy that the “State” has an obligation to
complaints relating to censorship violations
preserve and promote public morality and public
received by the CBFC in various forms in several
order. This includes the prohibition of any
states and union territories during the year 2000,
material, in any form (artworks, plays, books or
2001 and 2002 were 57, 144 and 105 respectively.
films) which tends to “poison” the minds and the
In some places, more commonly in small cinema attitudes of citizens, or which are “likely” to pose
houses in satellite towns across the country, a threat to public order. To what extent any
theatre owners interpolate ‘sexually explicit’ scenes government should ”intervene” in the public ex-
into films certified for public viewing. pression of ideas is a subject or another discussion”
Whether we should have a different censoring With these discussions we can conclude that
procedure for foreign films. While the Supreme censorship in India (and pre censorship is not
Court in Held “Lady Chatterley’s Love” to be different in quality) has full justification in the field
Obscene, in England the jury found the publishers of the exhibition of cinema films. We need not
to be not liable. G.D Khosla Committee who studied generalize about other forms of speech and
about this issue remarked that such ‘Double expression here for each such fundamental right
Standards’ is unwanted in the Indian Context. has a different content and importance. The
censorship imposed on the making and exhibition
Censorship is a Universal Phenomenon. Every
of films is in the interests of society. If the
government, all over the world, exercises
regulations venture into something, which goes
censorship in one way or the other. Even ancient
beyond this legitimate opening to restrictions, they
Rome had a system of
can be questioned on the ground that a legitimate
censorship. On the civilian front, there is a ban power is being abused. We hold, therefore, that
on any disrespect to the National Flag or to the censorship of films including prior restraint is
National Anthem. This, again, is accepted justified under our Constitution.
without demur. There is a ban on the
publication of pornographic materials to which Bibliography:
children may have access. No citizen protests that Ø Forbidden Zones by Sebastian Paul
the law infringes on individual rights.
Ø Beotra’s, Law of Cinematograph, 2nd Edition,
However, this in toleration to censorship is not 1989, The Law Book Company (P) Ltd,
a happy trend to free and democratic society. As. Allahabad
J. Krishna Iyer puts it “Art, morals and law’s
Ø Article: From Udeshi to Abbas: Supreme Court
manacles on aesthetics are a sensitive subject
on Obscenity and Pre-Censorship by
where jurisprudence meets other social sciences
Narasimhaswamy G. Mysore reported in (1971)
and never goes alone to bark and bite because
1 SCC (J)46
State-made strait-jacket in an inhibitive
prescription for a free country unless enlightened Ø Supreme Court Cases Digest, Universal
society actively participates in the administration Publications
of justice to aesthetics”
Ø Article: Morality, Obscenity and Censorship by
The conclusion that inevitably follows, Madhavi Divan reported in (2003) 1 SCC (J) 3
therefore, is that it is unreasonable to oppose
 Article: Censorship of Films vis–a-vis Appellate
governmental action to preserve and promote
Tribunal by S.Nagappan Nayar rprtd in The
public order, public morality and the progress of
Academy Law Review1993 Vo.17
civilization. To be opposed “in principle” to
governmental intervention is to be out of sync with  Enquiry Committee on Film Censorship, 1968-
the requirements of public propriety. Ergo, those Report: Committees and Commissions in India-
citizens who plead for a government ban on 1942-73, Vol. IX 1968-69,Virendra Kumar,
blasphemous films, such as “The Da Vinci Code,” Concept publishing Company –New Delhi-1979
or the indigenously produced “Tickle my
funnybone” should not be relegated to the lunatic
“fringe” of society by self- proclaimed champions
of freedom of ex-pression. It must be remembered,
and acknowledged, that those who protest the

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2007  11

L ast few issues of Mind Text gave a bird’s eye view of India’s
achievements and contribution in the field of Space Research. From
this issue on we are giving a brief outline of the stupendous progress
achieved by the Ancient Indian mathematicians.
Indian contribution to field of mathematics is unique and
remarkable. The period between 3000 BC and 1200 AD saw immense
contribution by the ancient Indian mathematicians to the subject.
Great contributions were made during the Harappan period and the
Vedic period especially the Sulba Sutras, developed for designing
sacrificial altars of different geometries, and Boudhayana theorem
concerning right angled triangles, which now goes by the name of
Pythagoras theorem.
Jain scholars in India developed mathematics in the area of handling
very large numbers, indices and logarithms and also permutations
and combinations. Bakshali manuscript discovered in 1881 in a village
near Peshawar, tells us about the state of mathematics in India in the
3rd century A.D. Various systems of numerals were developed in India
between 4th century B.C. and 11th century A.D. A few numerical codes
developed in India, again a unique feature, to express number in codes
enabling mathematical knowledge to be transmitted through prose
and poetry is unique.
The outstanding contribution of Brahmagupta (600 A.D.) to cyclic
quadrilaterals and to the solution of indeterminate equations of the
second degree, hailed all over the world. There are also numerous
remarkable attempts made by Indian mathematicians to evaluate ‘Pi’
to higher and still higher accuracy. Indian attempts in the field of
Trigonometry and Calculus and fun in mathematics to induce
youngsters to learn mathematics is also of great interest. Kerala school
of mathematics which flourished between 14th and 17th centuries is
remembered all over for its contribution especially in infinite series.
(To be continued…)
Courtesy: Awakening Indians to India

Mind Text APRIL

2007  12

Haripriya Menon
Formed from the genes of Sorrentzo,
Created as a multiple personality,
The greatest world;
Acids, bases and the neutral,
Come by my side.
Yet being too small for the size,
Attaches itself to the biggest concepts,
Yet ready to be formed,
The rest dies…

Haripriya is a +2 student of St. Joseph’s HSS, Tripunithura, Cochin.

Just A Minute
Name world’s first
Answer to Q.M.7.
The earliest
magic squares (4x4)
was found in India
by Nagarjuna.

send your answers to

1. Last issue of Mind Text was impressive. The article about the
documentary secreening of Sri Justice V R Krishna Iyer was very
- Vineeth, Trivandrum

2. The article on Education Policy was thought-provoking. Kudos to

the author.
- Sharath, Cochin
Mind Text APRIL
2007  13

Mr. D. Dhanuraj, Chairman, Centre for Public Policy Research particiapted Libaral Youth South Asia (LYSA)
conference held at Kathmandu, Nepal from March 29 to April 2, 2007

Mind Text APRIL

2007  14