Category: India

National Awards

Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushana, Padma Bhushana and Padma Shree are national awards conferred by the Government of India. They are not titles. The Constitution of India forbids conferring of titles by the Government of India. They are not meant to be added before names.
They are announced at the time of Republic Day. Sometimes Bharat Ratna award is announced at other times. Many times there is fight for awards. Some people feel they should have got it.
Bharat Ratna has been devalued over the years. Janata Dal led National Front Government started to confer it on persons dead long back. Other Governments continued it. United Front Government after its fall conferred it on six persons in three months. Those who excel in art by playing musical instruments or singing songs can be given other awards. Conferring Bharat Ratna on them has devalued it. It should be only for people who have rendered service at national level or done something of national importance.
The President of India and the Union Council of Ministers must note the abuse of national awards by adding them to names and take appropriate steps to stop it.

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.