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4th April

 Updated: Unfreedom...


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Indian film censors ban lesbian themed thriller
Link Here  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
unfreedom Unfreedom is a 2015 USA / India crime romance by Raj Amit Kumar.
Starring Victor Banerjee, Adil Hussain and Bhanu Uday. Youtube link IMDb

In New York arrives a violent and angry man imprisoned by his brutal past, Mohammed Husain. His mission - to kidnap and kill a peaceful Muslim scholar, Fareed Rahmani. On the other side of the world, Leela Singh, a homosexual girl in New Delhi, kidnaps her bisexual lover, Sakhi Taylor. Her mission - to marry her lover and live happily ever after. In a brutal struggle of identities against unfreedom, four characters, in two of the world's largest cities, come face to face with most gruesome acts of torture and violence. The choices they make when they are most cornered in life, expose the blemished reality of contemporary world.

India: Banned by the CBFC, March 2015

The film is the story of a young girl who resists a forced arranged marriage to unite with her lesbian partner. The nudity and lovemaking scenes of the female protagonists, 'outraged' the Indian Board of film censors.

Add to it a parallel story line which revolves around a liberal Muslim kidnapped by a terrorist and the CBFC was up in arms.

Speaking from the US, the director told Mirror, The two stories are juxtaposed and the film challenges the idea of religious fundamentalism and questions its connection with homosexuality which is a biting reality of India.

He added that the film was refused by both the Examining Committee and the Revising Committee. They plainly told me that after watching the film, Hindu and Muslims will start fighting and will ignite unnatural passions. I was aghast as my film is not provocative.

The filmmaker then appealed to the Film Certification Apellate Tribunal (FCAT) but this time too, he was denied a certificate. I'm making an appeal in the High Court now as the Censor Board cannot tell a filmmaker what to make and what not to, said the filmmaker

Update: Director to appeal the ban in court

4th April 2015. See article from hindustantimes.com

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) recently banned the release of Unfreedom, a film based on a lesbian relationship, on the grounds that it will supposedly ignite unnatural passions . The board reportedly also had a problem with a storyline in which a liberal Muslim girl is kidnapped by terrorists.

Kumar has decided to file court case against the CBFC. I have appealed to the high court asking them to allow me to release the film.

The director said that the board primarily had a problem with the portrayal of religious fundamentalism in the film. Everyone believes that the reason for banning the film is homosexuality, but that's just a part of the problem. The religious fundamentalism, which I am dealing with in the film, bothers them even more, Kumar said.

The chief censor, Pahlaj Nihalani said:

The film was brought to the censor board back in November last year, when I had not even joined office. They (previous panel) had not cleared the film. So, the filmmaker approached the Examining Committee later, which refused a certification to the film. He then went to the Revising Committee, which passed the film with an A certificate, after suggesting a few cuts. However, the producer was still not satisfied, and he approached the tribunal (the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal) in Delhi. And the Tribunal also refused to certify the film. And now, the director is planning to move the court.

Kumar spoke of the cuts requested by the censors:

I don't even want to talk about the kind of cuts they asked me to make in my film. It was not only cutting a few scenes, it was more about removing a particular thought and expression. They have no business telling a filmmaker what to put in his film. They cannot curb our creativity. Who are they to decide what goes in my film and what doesn't.

 

30th March

 Update: Block On...


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India's Supreme Court confirms India's website blocking regime buts finds against other aspects of internet censorship
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn
india supreme court India's Supreme Court has ruled on three internet censorship sections of the Information Technology Act 2000 - Section 66A, Section 79 and Section 69A.

The draconian Section 66A was originally meant to tackle spam and cyber-stalking but was used by the powerful elite to crack down on online dissent and criticism.

Section 79 was meant to give immunity to internet intermediaries for liability emerging from third-party speech, but it had a chilling effect on free speech because intermediaries erred on the side of caution when it came to deciding whether the content was legal or illegal.

And Section 69A was the web blocking or internet censorship provision, but the procedure prescribed did not adhere to the principles of natural justice and transparency. For instance, when books are banned by courts, the public is informed of such bans but when websites are banned in India, there's no clear message from the ISP.

The Supreme Court upheld 69A, so web blocking and internet censorship in India will continue to happen in an opaque fashion which is worrying.

But on 66A and 79, the landmark judgment protects the right to free speech and expression. It struck down 66A in entirety, saying the vague and imprecise language made the provision unconstitutional and it interfered with the right of the people to know - the market place of ideas - which the internet provides to persons of all kinds .

However, it only read down Section 79 saying unlawful acts beyond what is laid down as reasonable restrictions to the right to free speech in the Constitution obviously cannot form any part of the section. In short, the court has eliminated any additional restrictions for speech online even though it admitted that the internet is intelligibly different from traditional media and might require additional laws to be passed by the Indian Parliament.

 

30th March

 Update: Murderous Censorship...


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Another atheist blogger murdered in Bangladesh
Link Here  full story: Blasphemy in Bangladesh...Penalising disbelief
Bangladesh flag An atheist blogger opposed to religious extremism has been hacked to death in the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka, the latest attack on the country's bloggers after an American atheist blogger was killed in the same manner last month.

Washiqur Rahman was repeatedly stabbed by three men in the Tejgaon industrial area of Dhaka. Police arrested two men who were caught at the scene of the crime and recovered three meat cleavers from the spot.

The attack on Rahman came a month after Avijit Roy, a US-based Bangladeshi atheist blogger , was hacked to death at a busy roundabout in Dhaka. Roy's wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya, also a blogger, was seriously injured in the February 26 attack that triggered international outrage.

A social media writer said Rahman was known to write against religious fundamentalism. He used to write using a penname Kutshit Hasher Chhana (Ugly Duckling).

Police compared Rahman's murder to the 2013 killing of blogger Rajeeb Haider. Haider, known as Thaba Baba in the blogging community, was hacked to death on February 15, 2013 near his home at Pallabi in Dhaka.

 

23rd March

 Update: Blogs Censored...

Pakistan blocks the WordPress, the largest blocking platform in the world
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in Pakistan...internet website blocking
wordpress logo The largest blogging platform of the world, WordPress.com, has been banned in Pakistan which a tech blog says has been done on orders of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

According to the ProPakistani blog, who claims to have been confirmed by an anonymous source within PTA, reports that WordPress.com has been blocked due to references to the Pakistan Day. The exact nature of threat on WordPress.com that triggered the blocking is unreported.

The blog also reports the ban might be lifted in next two days

PTA has a history of blocking websites without giving any prior notice or reason of doing so.

 

15th March

 Update: Censorship Gets Hard in India...

Hollywood is giving up trying to get R rated films past the new loony censor
Link Here
get hard Get Hard is a 2015 USA comedy by Etan Cohen.
Starring Alison Brie, Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart. Youtube link IMDb

When millionaire James King is nailed for fraud and bound for San Quentin, he turns to Darnell Lewis to prep him to go behind bars.

MPAA Rated R for pervasive crude and sexual content and language, some graphic nudity, and drug material.

The Indian censor board has created a regressive environment, says studio executive, citing the example of the censorship of Fifty Shades of Grey .

Wary of a series of recent decisions by the Central Board of Film Censorship (CBFC) to impose cuts and restrictions on movies scheduled for release, Warner Bros. has resolved against showing their upcoming film Get Hard in Indian theatres. The Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart starrer was to open in India on March 27.

It is learnt that the call to not release the adult comedy was taken jointly by Warner Bros. offices in the US and India. A source told Mirror:

Another studio deleted 20 minutes of content before screening its film for the Examining Committee and was still refused certification. In these times of aggressive censorship unless you truncate your product to an extent that it doesn't resemble the original anymore, you can't get it passed here.

Focus Blu ray Digital UltraViolet Combo Earlier, the Will Smith comedy, Focus , which opens this Friday, was banned by the CBFC's Examining Committee (EC). The dark romcom was eventually passed by the Revising Committee (RC) after 14 cuts.

They even objected to the word 'boob', said the source, pointing out that this kind of regressive environment is not conducive to adult comedies whose funny lines will be punctuated by 'over 100-odd beeps'.

It also is reported that the current censorship policy means that the distributors feel that there is little point pursing an appeal of the recently banned 50 Shades of Grey.

 

13th March

 Update: Bountiful Protest...

India's film censors protest against their tyrant boss
Link Here
CBFC logo Members of India's Central Board of Film Censorship (CBFC) are protesting against its loony chairman Pahlaj Nihalani's dictatorial ways, accusing him of of being a tyrant for not just reviewing films himself but also ordering cuss words to be removed despite a board resolution putting the order to ban 28 cuss words on hold.

CBFC members Ashoke Pandit, Mihir Bhuta and Nandini Sardesai have reportedly accused Nihalini of making the censor board redundant by deliberately turning a deaf ear to board recommendations or suggestions.

Board member Chandraprakash Dwivedi expressed disappointment over cuts made in Anushka Sharma's film NH10 despite a collective decision to put on hold a circular banning cuss words.

Expressing anguish that collective decisions were being ignored, Dwivedi, a prominent filmmaker, sought an urgent meeting of the board in his letter to CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihlani to address uncomfortable issues . Dwivedi said that he was in receipt of the list of cuss words asked to be deleted by board to the producers of NH 10. Recalling an earlier meeting of the board, Dwivedi said, it was resolved that the circular issued by chairman or the office of the CBFC, banning certain words, will not be implemented till there is a detailed discussion.

Meanwhile, CBFC member Ashoke Pandit in a Facebook post wrote:

From the day this man (Nihalini) has taken the reins of the board, the CBFC is resembling like a wild horse gone amok. His ridiculous diktats and autocratic functioning has made CBFC a laughing stock not only amongst the film makers but also the cinema viewing audience. Nihalani's diktats are supported neither by logic nor law, nor does he appreciate the intelligence of the film-maker and the audience. He literally functions like an archaic monarch treating CBFC and its office like his own fiefdom.

 

28th February

 Updated: He's probably uttering a few choice words himself...

India's loony film censor under siege over ludicrous attempt to ban strong language
Link Here

pahlaj-nihalani Controversial new rules banning cuss words from all Indian films, issued on the directive of new Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) chairman Pahlaj Nihalani, has been put on hold following protests by several board members at a CBFC meeting. This was the first board meeting after Nihalani took over as CBFC chief.

Reportedly, the circular that listed cuss words in Hindi and English, including Bombay , was discussed at the meeting and several board members opposed it.

It was brought to Nihalani's notice that in keeping with the Cinematograph Act 1952, which guides CBFC's functioning, the chairperson does not have the authority to take such decisions and that such powers rested only with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Sources said the circular was put on hold and the board decided to convene another meeting to discuss the issue at length.

A board member, who refused to be named, said:

The role of the chairperson and the board is merely recommending and advising the I&B. This became clear to Pahlaj Nihalani during the meeting. The decision whether or not the circular should be implemented now rests with the ministry.

Follow up meetings have taken place and reports are awaited.

Update: Government rejects loony film censor's ban on strong language

28th February 2015. See  article from  oyetimes.com

I&B logo Indian filmmakers are relieved that the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Rathore has announced that Bollywood will not be required to follow the list of banned cuss words made by the new chief of the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Pahlaj Nihalani. The decision came after certain reputed filmmakers decided to consult the Ministry of I&B after Pahlaj passed the order of banning cuss words from films.

Pahlaj Nihalani decided to take matters into his own hands when films started using many cuss words as a part of the screenplay and he ordered the ban of over 28 words to be used in the film. It included words like harami , bastard and he even refused to allow the Bombay to be a part of the film because the city is now termed Mumbai . Bollywood personalities had a meeting with the I&B Ministry after which they reached to the conclusion that Bollywood can do away with the list and ignore the order.

Hardly a vote of confidence in the new censor.

 

18th February

 Update: A few choice cuss words aimed at the film censor...

Indian government considers reigning in loony film censor
Link Here
pahlaj-nihalani The government is not too amused with new censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani's volubility and sources said he may be asked to pipe down. Nihalani has courted controversy with his list of around 28 cuss words which he wants filmmakers to avoid in their movies.

The list, which includes some 28 cuss words, has angered filmmakers. They have called it absurd, regressive and against creative freedom.

Nihalani said his office had made the list of the most commonly used cuss words:

I have not made up these words. The list was given to me by my office and it was circulated among us. It was not for the media. It was not to be made public. It was given to them to follow the guidelines.

I am just following the guidelines. I am not bringing anything on my own. If the industry people have a problem, they should go to the ministry and get their approval. I will follow it.

Film makers took him up on his words and called on the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry resulting in a meeting between eminent filmmakers and junior minister Rajyavardhan Rathore slated for February 25. Gangs of Wasseypur director Anurag Kashyap said:

I am against censorship of any kind. The meeting with the minister went off well and for the first time, I feel that we have been able to bridge the gap between the government and the film industry.

Supriyo, who is minister of state for urban development, said he felt for the cause. Referring to Nihalani's diktat, he said, Maybe, some people are speaking out of turn and are not really in tune with the film industry's needs.

No cuss words. No bloodshed. No violence against women. No double meanings. Filmmakers: No movies then!

See  article from  abplive.in

Besides the ban on certain words, the circular issued by the censor board also says that no Indian male will look at an Indian female, they won't hold hands, they won't smile and he can't breathe into her ear!

 

15th February

 Update: Blemished...

Unfreedom movie banned in India by the CBFC
Link Here  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
Poster Unfreedom 2015 Raj Amit Kumar Unfreedom (aka Blemished Light) is a 2015 USA / India crime romance by Raj Amit Kumar.
Starring Victor Banerjee, Adil Hussain and Bhanu Uday. IMDb

In New York arrives a violent and angry man imprisoned by his brutal past, Mohammed Husain. His mission - to kidnap and kill a peaceful Muslim scholar, Fareed Rahmani. On the other side of the world, Leela Singh, a homosexual girl in New Delhi, kidnaps her bisexual lover, Sakhi Taylor. Her mission - to marry her lover and live happily ever after. In a brutal struggle of identities against unfreedom, four characters, in two of the world's largest cities, come face to face with most gruesome acts of torture and violence. The choices they make when they are most cornered in life, expose the blemished reality of contemporary world.

Unfreedom , a new Indian film by Raj Amit Kumar has been banned in India. However it will be released in North American theatres and simultaneously on digital channels on May 29.

According to a media release Unfreedom juxtaposes two powerful and unflinching contemporary stories about religious fundamentalism and intolerance. Shifting between New York and New Delhi, one tale follows a Muslim terrorist who kidnaps a liberal Muslim scholar in order to silence him, while the other charts the travails of a young woman whose devout father tries to force her into an arranged marriage, which she resists because she is secretly in love with another woman.

Recently, Unfreedom was banned in India, where homosexuality was criminalised in 2013, by the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC), rendering much of its content too controversial for general audiences.

 

4th February

  Doing the Mumbai Grumble...

Indian music censors demand the beeping of the city name, Bombay
Link Here
indian film certificate A music video has been censored in India for the bizarre crime of using the name 'Bombay' instead of the politically correct name, Mumbai'.

Mihir Joshi's song Sorry was submitted to get the CBFC certificate needed to show the song's music video on television.

On 5th December, Neelima Naik and Deepak Ramakant Tandel of the song review committee cleared the video on condition that Bombay, mentioned once early in the song, be muted or beeped out.

Joshi has made it clear that the only reason he used the word Bombay was because it fit his rhyme scheme and he hadn't anticipated anything in the song could be considered objectionable since both song and album have been out for more than six months now.

The censorship was dictated by the board prior to the recent change of personnel.

The name Bombay hasn't even been officially expunged. A number of institutions, including Bombay High Court for example still use the old name.

 

3rd February

  Protection Racket...

Protectionist protests in Bangladesh aim to censor the screening of Indian films
Link Here
wanted Cinemas in Bangladesh will boycott movies starring the nation's top actor after he led protests against the first screening of a Hindi film in decades.

Bollywood blockbuster Wanted opened in cinemas this weekend after Bangladesh's censor board cleared its nationwide release, following a 50-year ban on Hindi-language films.

The screenings sparked protests outside cinemas along with wildcat strikes by hundreds of Dhaka actors, directors and others, who claimed the release would cripple the local film industry, known as Dhallywood.

Actor Shakib Khan led the marches on cinemas, where protesters ripped up Hindi film posters and pleaded with fans queueing at ticket booths to boycott the film.

Bangladesh cinema owners reacted sharply, saying they would not show any movies starring Khan and defended their decision to screen highly-popular flicks from neighbouring India on financial grounds. We've released Hindi films because we're now facing (an) existential crisis, said Saiful Islam Chowdhury, president of the Bangladesh Motion Pictures Exhibitors Association. Chowdhury said the country's 350 film theatres have decided not to show any films by Shakib Khan along with Shawdagar and several directors.

A court last year ruled Wanted could be shown in Bangladesh, despite a prohibition on Hindi films dating back to a brief war between India and Pakistan in 1965 when Bangladesh was part of East Pakistan. The censor board gave the film the final go ahead in November for screening this year.

 

30th January

 Updated: Leela Samson loses her appeal...

Indian film censor resigns after her ban on the movie MSG is overturned on appeal
Link Here  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
CBFC logoIndia's censor board chief has resigned after reports that a film rejected by her panel has been cleared for release.

Leela Samson quit after an appeals board approved the film Messenger of God , directed by and starring Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Samson's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had found the film unsuitable for the public, reportedly because it promoted superstition. She also accused the state-run CBFC of corruption and coercion .

Messenger of God was cleared by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal.

A CBFC member, Nandini Sardesai, said supported her boss saying:

We all saw the movie. It was the collective decision of eight of us that the movie was not suitable for public viewing.

Later 9 members of the Central Board of Film Certification sent their resignation letters to the Information and Broadcasting Minister on citing interference and corruption in the ministry. In their letter to the I&B Minister, CBFC members said:

The events that led to the Chairperson Ms. Leela Samson resigning from her position are merely the proverbial last straw. We have been asking for some critical changes, which are imperative to the functioning of the CBFC. Not a single positive step has been taken by the Ministry.

Government sources said the members who have quit were on their way out anyway adding that a new censor board will be announced soon.

Update: Now 13

18th January 2015. See  article from  indiantelevision.com

The resignation count has risen to 13 members resigning to support Leela Samson.

Update: New censor

20th January 2015. See  article from  ibnlive.in.com

pahlaj nihalaniFilmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani has been appointed as new chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). This comes after Leela Samson resigned last week.

Nihalani said he will do his job without any controversy and he also said that there was nothing wrong in the way MSG - Messenger of God was cleared by appellate Tribunal.

Nine new members have also been appointed to the board to replace those resigning with Samson.

Update: State censors

22nd January 2015.  See  article from  theguardian.com

The composition of the new board, especially the number of BJP (the ruling Indian nationalist party) sympathisers on it, does little to allay the accusations made by Samson and her co-workers. In the runup to last year's general elections, Nihalani directed a music video praising the current prime minister, Narendra Modi. During a television interview on Tuesday, he said he was proud to be a BJP person , and called Modi his action hero and the voice of the nation . He blames the previous government, saying the [board's] problems started during their tenure.

Three other new members are either BJP leaders or have ties to its nationalist parent organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. One of them even contested the 2014 general elections on a BJP ticket.

MSG is now slated for release on 6 February. The chief minister of Punjab, whose state had earlier banned the film due to the communique regarding public safety concerns, has said the government will review the order.

Update: A vulgar censor

24th January 2015.  See  article from  timesofindia.indiatimes.com

 India's new film censor quickly set out his stall by having a good whinge at supposedly vulgar TV. He whined that there is too much nudity on television and internet which should be controlled. Speaking to TOI Pahlaj Nihalani whinged:,

Nudity is available online and on certain TV programs like live fashion shows. It should be in sync with the rules followed in films. There should be one policy for nudity (portrayal of sex in films).

He said that while films on TV, promos went through a certification process, many live programmes were subject to self-regulation. The self-regulation is not being followed. There is vulgarity on TV...it should be controlled, he said.

Nihalani who in a recent interview described PM Narendra Modi as his action hero defended his words:

I am a big fan of BJP. I admire Modiji for his leadership qualities and people are very happy that he is in power. There are expectations from him and as a citizen of this country I am motivated to move ahead.

Update: Ranting and raving

30th January 2015.  See  article from  filmibeat.com

sunny leoneIndia's new chief film censor, Pahlaj Nihalani, has been ranting and raving about increasing film censorship. He has also has a whinge about the internet and 'how it will affect the nation's youth':

I am talking about the material that is uploaded. For instance, take Sunny Leone. We accepted her as an artist. And with her popularity, everybody, from school kids to grown ups, have watched her sites (adult films). People are paying money to watch her. How can there be tolerance for all this? What will the new generation learn?.

I don't mind being called conservative if I have to serve the nation. You have to take care of the new generation, on whom the future of the country depends. So how can we allow ourselves to give them wrong education? The censor board is very liberal. But what is the modern generation watching? We are giving them the license to see anything. How is this projecting our culture? Everything is free online and as you can see the youth is misusing it. Even for the online platform, I feel there should be rules and without censorship material should not be uploaded.

On television, they watch content without any censor. Many live programmes come without censor, especial the comedy and fashion shows. So much vulgarity they show on TV. On many live shows you can see short skirts and lingerie. How can you tolerate all this? What is the meaning of censorship then?

 

26th January

 Update: Baby...

Indian film banned in Pakistan over sensitivity of being depicted as terrorists
Link Here  full story: Banned Films in Pakistan...Sensitive issues of image and religion
Poster Baby 2015 Neeraj PandeyBaby is a 2015 India action crime mystery by Neeraj Pandey.
Starring Kerem Sarikaya, Ali Balkan Avci and Zachary Coffin. Youtube link IMDb

An elite counter-intelligence unit learns of a plot, masterminded by a maniacal madman. With the clock ticking, it's up to them to track the terrorists' international tentacles and prevent them from striking at the heart of India.

Baby is an Indian action movie about a spy mission to catch a dreaded terrorist. It has now been banned by Pakistan's film censors. The Dawn newspaper reported:

Censor boards in Islamabad and Karachi have decided to ban the film because it portrays a negative image of Muslims and the negative characters in the film also have Muslim names.

All CDs and DVDs of the film have also been banned in Islamabad. A representative of the film's distributor, Everready Pictures informed the paper that the film has been banned in Pakistan.

Earlier, director Neeray Pandey was quoted as saying that the film was not anti-Pakistan. The board routinely bans films deemed to have anti- Pakistan themes.

 

25th January

 Update: #NotPee...

A Twitter debate about miserable claims that squirting is peeing
Link Here  full story: Female Ejaculation at the BBFC...Film censors and little squirts
Twitter logoOutrage has erupted online over a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine last month that claimed there is a difference between female ejaculate (which comes from the Skene's gland through the vagina) and squirting, which the study claims is just pee.

Thousands of tweets have flooded Twitter with the hashtag #NotPee , saying that the study shames women for enjoying orgasms -- something many women are already made to feel self-conscious about. The hashtag was started by sex toy critic Epiphora after she wrote an in-depth blog post on the topic.

Women across the Internet chimed in with stories -- of being afraid and embarrassed of their orgasms, of finally learning to let go and enjoy themselves, of knowing from lifetimes of experience that squirting is not peeing.

 

19th January

 Update: MSG: More Spiritual Grief...

Banned by the Indian censor, unbanned on appeal, re-banned in the Punjab
Link Here  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
msgAmidst the censorship drama at the Indian film censor's office, the Punjab government Saturday banned the screening of the film MSG - The Messenger Of God , which features Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

The film was cleared by the Certification Appellate Tribunal's (FCAT) despite not getting clearance from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and its revising committee.

Update: Box office hit

20th February 2015. See article from zeenews.india.com

MSG - The Messenger, featuring Dera Sacha Sauda sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, has left the cash registers ringing at the Box-Office.

The film was released on February 13 in 4,000 screens across the country. It collected a whopping Rs 61.15 crores at the Box Office within just four days of its release.

The movie was given a release certificate by the Censor Board in early February. But the Punjab and Uttarakhand government has banned the screening of the film claiming law and order problems.

 

15th January

 Update: More Spiritual Grief...

Indian film censors look set to ban MSG after pressure from religious groups and the government
Link Here  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
msgMSG: The Messenger of God is a 2015 India action comedy drama by Jeetu Arora and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan.
Starring Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan, Daniel Kaleb and Fllora Saini. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

India's film censor board has refused to clear MSG: The Messenger of God featuring self-styled guru Ram Rahim Singh.

The Censor Board (CBFC) has decided to refer the decision to the Film Certification Apellate Tribunal (FCAT). Officials said a review committee of the Board took the decision unanimously. CBFC chairperson Leela Samson told PTI:

It has been unanimously decided to refer the film to the tribunal FCAT.

Whilst waiting for the results of the appeal the movie will miss its opening date previously set for 16th January 2015.

In the movie, Ram Rahim Singh depicts himself as a god. The censors apparently have objections to Ram Rahim being shown to be performing miracles and curing terminal diseases.

Singh is head of a spiritual orginsation called Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS). He said he was not averse to cutting some scenes if the censor board objected to them. He claimed that:

The only aim of the film is to spread messages against social evils like drug addiction, female foeticide. There is nothing wrong in it. If the board finds any portion of the film objectionable, I will happily get them removed.

I have not showed myself as God but as a human. I have not criticised any religion in the film.

The Home Ministry had sent an advisory to states where the movie is set to play which said:

Various Sikh organisations and individuals are opposing the movie on the ground that its release would disturb the communal harmony and law and order. They also opine that glorification of DSS chief, facing serious criminal cases, should not be allowed.

Meanwhile in the UK, the BBFC have passed the film 12A uncut for moderate violence, sex references, drug use, for its upcoming cinema release.

 

11th January

 Updated: Censorial Gits...

India introduces internet censorship by blocking some big name and important websites
Link Here  full story: Internet Censorship in India...India considers blanket ban on internet porn
india government logoThe Indian government has asked ISPs and mobile operators to block access to 32 sites in the name of its censorship laws GitHub, Archive.org, Imgur, Vimeo, Daily Motion and Pastebin are some of the more familiar names included on the list.

The leader of the Bharatiya Janata political party spouted some unlikely sounding bollox that the banned websites contained some content from ISIS.

Already it seems that some ISPs have taken action and cut access to a number of the websites. The Times Of India reports that its correspondents were not able to access Pastebin, DailyMotion or GitHub using Vodafone's 3G service, although they were able to get on the three sites via rival operator Airtel's service.

The addition of GitHub, a massively popular site for the community development of code seems a particularly harmful decision for India's technology industry. And surely there will be a powerful lobby calling for the unblocking of at least this site.

Update: 4 sites unblocked

2nd January 2015. See  article from  strangethingsarehappening.com

According to IANS , the Government decided to unblock four websites after they gave assurances to the government that they will not allow pasting on Jihadi propaganda. The sites that were unblocked were Website creation & hosting site Weebly.com , Video hosting platforms Vimeo.com & Dailymotion.com and software repository gist.github.com .

The original list of censored websites is:

  1. justpaste.it/
  2. hastebin.com
  3. codepad.org
  4. pastie.org
  5. pastee.org
  6. paste2.org
  7. slexy.org
  8. paste4btc.com/
  9. 0bin.net
  10. heypasteit.com
  11. sourceforge.net/projects/phorkie
  12. atnsoft.com/textpaster
  13. archive.org
  14. hpage.com
  15. ipage.com/
  16. webs.com/
  17. weebly.com/
  18. 000webhost.com/
  19. freehosting.com
  20. vimeo.com/
  21. dailymotion.com/
  22. pastebin.com
  23. gist.github.com
  24. ipaste.eu
  25. thesnippetapp.com
  26. snipt.net
  27. tny.cz (Tinypaste)
  28. github.com (gist-it)
  29. nipplr.com/
  30. termbin.com
  31. www.snippetsource.net
  32. cryptbin.com

Update: Pastebin Unbinned

7th January 2015. See  See  article from  zdnet.com

Pastebin tells ZDNet that the Indian government's wide-ranging internet block, which had included the site , has been removed and Indian citizens are again able to access Pastebin -- but 27 sites still remain banned under the order .

According to Pastebin's statement to ZDNet, there is still no verifiable explanation for India's government-ordered internet censorship.

Update: Unblocked

11th January 2015. See  article from  huffingtonpost.in

The Indian government has ended its blocking of all the 32 websites censored for the unlikely reason that the sites were being used by terrorists.  A source said:

Order was issued on Thursday to unblock all 32 websites that were blocked following complaint of Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad that ISIS is disseminating content through them. All websites has responded that they will work with government and removed jehadi content,

 

2nd January

  A Grimy Hellhole...

Pakistan complains about being depicted as the bad guys in Homeland
Link Here
Homeland Season 1 3 Damian LewisPakistan has complained that the American TV drama Homeland , which was based on the Israeli show Hatufim (Hostages) , depicted their country as a grimy hellhole .

A Pakistani source cited by the New York Post condemned the portrayal of Islamabad as a war zone where shootouts and bombs go off... nothing is further from the truth, describing the capital instead as a quiet, picturesque city with beautiful mountains.

Officials also took issue with a plotline that insinuated that Pakistani security officials harbor terrorists, which they called an insult to the ultimate sacrifices of the thousands of Pakistani security personnel, and also with the Urdu dialect spoken on the show. The accent is far from the local accent, a source said.