Film Censorship in India

Deconstructing an incongruity

Authored by: Someswar Bhowmik

Routledge Handbook of Indian Cinemas

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  April  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415677745
eBook ISBN: 9780203556054
Adobe ISBN: 9781136772849

10.4324/9780203556054.ch14

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Abstract

A political dispatch, dated 1 June 1922, from Lord Reading, then Viceroy and Governor-General of India, to then Secretary of State for India Viscount Peel, read: ‘The object of censorship is not merely to prevent the exhibition of obscene films but also of films that are politically objectionable.’ 1 While Lord Reading was referring to the system of film censorship that had become operational from 1 August 1920, the tone of his assertion betrays a ploy of camouflaging ‘for tactical and other reasons.’ 2 Such camouflaging continues to characterize India’s film censorship system even ninety years after Lord Reading wrote those words.

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