Dear Censors, Is Everyone On The Internet An Adult?


MUMBAI: Reportedly, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is going to amend certain key provisions in the existing Cinematograph Act 1952. Bollywood films may soon be categorized into different slots: Above 12 years of age (Under Parental Guidance), Above 15 years of age (Under Parental Guidance) or Above 18 years of age, instead of the regular U, U/A, A or C (Children). This has led to a lot of talk in and outside the film industry.

While the CBFC and the entire film fraternity concentrate on developing censorship for a better categorization of viewership in theatres and on television, we are all forgetting a very important space that contributes to the viewership of our cinema: The Internet.

Point in case: Recently we saw the theatrical trailer release of the Saif Ali Khan starrer ‘Go Goa Gone’ and unlike a few people who caught the trailer on the idiot box, we saw it on YouTube. While the trailer was very interesting, it does contain a lot of un-muted explicit words which are otherwise muted out on TV.

Which brings us to our question:

Should the CBFC or other authority look into what the Industry exhibits on the internet space as well?

Today, with such easy access to the internet and websites, it is very convenient for young children to catch these trailers online. On some occasions, YouTube does ask the user to sign in to prove that one is of a certain age to view that particular video/trailer. However, which videos Youtube decides to apply this policy to, is anybody’s guess.

Meanwhile, there are no such restrictions from the film industry to stop young kids from watching Bollywood trailers which are uncensored and easily available online.

The questions then arise:

Aren’t children getting exposed to the exact same things that we are trying to protect them from by censorship in movie theaters and on television?

Should or shouldn’t there be guidelines, even on the internet, for viewing trailers that contain explicit content that is otherwise restricted to audiences above certain years of age only?

Or is up to the parents to decide the level of exposure their children are entitled to in the virtual world? Then why bother with censorship in the real world too?

Leave a comment and let us know what your opinion is.

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