India's entertainment sector has developed by great strides in the last century with Censorship on Television. It has expanded in terms of the number of films and programs it produces and its global reach. The rise of digital media has only enhanced the quantity and scope of material generated by the entertainment world throughout time. Censorship is a topic that constantly appears in the news.
What Is the Censorship Issue?
The suppression of speech and other kinds of mass discourse is what Censorship on Television is all about; it is fundamentally a matter of free speech and expression. Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression as a fundamental right, although this right is not absolute, and constraints are put on it under Article 19(1) (b) (2).
As a result, Censorship is all about balancing the two, namely, freedom of speech and expression on the one hand and restrictions on the other.
Censorship of Films in India
In India, movies must currently seek certification before being distributed in theatres. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is a legislative agency formed under the Cinematographic Act of 1952 that issues certifications in this regard. The CBFC's grounds for Film Certification include evaluating the picture from the standpoints of civil safety, ethics, decency, and defamation.
The Cinematographic Rules, 1983, and the Central Government Guidelines, 1991, all spell out how movies are to be screened in the country. The CBFC separates films for showing into the following categories:
- The film is appropriate for public screenings with no restrictions. Fit for a 'U' certificate, for example.
- The film is eligible for public showing without restriction, but with the caveat that the question as to whether any kid under the age of 12 should be permitted to view the film should be addressed by the child's parents or guardians. Fit for a 'UA' certificate.
- The film is appropriate for an adult-only public screening, earning an 'A' certificate.
- Due to the film's nature, substance, and topic, it is eligible for public showing limited to members of any profession or class of individuals, i.e., it is suitable for an 'S' certificate.
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Censorship on Television in India
The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act of 1995 and the Cable Television Networks Rules of 1994 (the "Cable Television Laws") control the regulation of material on television transmitted by various networks and broadcasters.
The following rules and regulations prohibit broadcasting any program or commercial that does not comply with the Program Code. The Advertising Code was set out in the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, over cable service. The cable providers are also tasked with favourably showing women and limiting violence and pornographic content in children's entertainment shows.
Censorship on OTT Platforms
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic's mandated lockdowns, traffic to these platforms has only risen. Netflix and Amazon Prime are two of the most popular services growing by the day.
Today, these platforms are devoid of any limitations or limits, making them incredibly popular among artists since they do not limit the creative nature of their art in the same way that theatres and tv do. In this sense, OTT platforms have implemented self-regulation by categorising their programming according to violence, nudity, and harsh language.
Content makers are increasingly gravitating toward OTT Platforms over traditional platforms due to the creative freedom they may exercise.
FAQs on Censorship
Q.1. In context with Censorship, What is the definition of freedom of speech and expression?
In context with Censorship, The Indian Constitution states that all people have the right to free speech and expression (Article 19(1)(a)). It implies that anybody has the freedom to openly express their beliefs and thoughts through speech, writing, printing, photographs, or any other methods.
Q.2. What is CBFC associated with Censorship?
It is a legislative organisation within the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting responsible for enforcing the Cinematograph Act 1952, which governs the public display of films and Censorship in India.
Q.3. What are Piracy laws in India?
Piracy is made a criminal offence under Section 6AA of the proposed legislation. The penalty of up to three years in prison and a fine of Rs 3 lakh but not less than 5% of the certified gross production cost.
Q.4. When did Censorship start in India?
The printing press and typesets came to India when the British East India Company (EIC) established its empires in India and the British version of Censorship. Still, contemporary journalism was founded in India primarily due to British oppression of Indians. From 1780 forward, the Company kept a close eye on every piece of paper distributed inside its borders.