Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Presidential System

Events in Karnataka have once again shown the fragility of Parliamentary System. It is high time we followed Presidential System. The President and Governors shall have executive powers. They shall hold office for five years unless they die, resign or removed through impeachment. The President and Vice President shall continue to be elected as they are. Members of Legislative Assemblies shall elect the Governors. The President and Governors shall have veto power, which can be overturned by Parliament or Legislative Assemblies by two third majorities. The Governors shall have the power to appoint High Court Judges. The removal of High Court Judges shall be by Legislative Assemblies.

Film censorship

Rang De Basanti has faced problems with censorship. There is Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC). Since the film dealt with MIG-21s CBFC referred it to three chiefs of Defence and Defence Minister. The three chiefs did not suggest cuts though they were unhappy about the roll call of pilots at the end to whom the film was dedicated. MIG-21s are known as flying coffins. They felt it will demoralise people who would like to join Air Force. Then came the controversy of No Objection Certificate (NOC) by Animal Welfare Board. First the Board issued an NOC and later withdrew it. Now we understand one scene will be cut and NOC will be issued.
Apart from CBFC nobody else should have any role in film censorship. Any law that allows Animal Welfare Board or anybody else should be repealed or a new law should be brought in force that will allow CBFC as the only authority as censor.
Besides, there is no need for Animal Welfare Board. The Board should be wound up and money spent on it can be better used.
CBFC issues three certificates for public viewing. `A’ for Adults only, `U’ for Unrestricted public viewing and `U/A’ for children viewing films under parental guidance. Some countries don’t have censorship. They have rating. Some are as below:
G – General viewing
PG – Parental Guidance
12 – Suitable only for viewers of 12 years and above
15 – Suitable only for viewers of 15 years and above
18 – Suitable only for viewers of 18 years and above
R – Restricted. (Similar to PG)
NC 17 – Not for children below 17.
Sometimes, producers to please someone have cut films cleared by CBFC. Once one family viewed a film and after its clearance the film was released in theatres. If producers are afraid of someone there is not much others can do.
Whatever is certified as `A’ should be allowed to be shown on TV at appropriate times without further cuts. There should be no separate certificates for TV and theatres.

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