The Film Censorship Enquiry Committee, headed by Justice (Retd.) GD Khosla submitted its report in 1969 and ordered to discard the domination of the central government on film censorship. However, the report given by the Committee attracted much controversy and was not implemented.
What is Khosla Committee?
The Khosla Committee was a committee of the Government of India, constituted in 1969 to review and report on the Cinematograph (India) Act, of 1952 and its amendments.
The Committee's recommendations were submitted to the Government in 1969. The essence of the report is that there should be no interference in the functioning of the Film Censor Board by the government and other bodies like a judicial
Significance of GD Khosla Committee
The most significant recommendation in the Khosla Committee report is that it declares that the government should have no direct concern with censorship. The committee recommended a provision to ensure that no member of any political party, public servant, or person holding a statutory post should be a member of the examining or revising committees.
It also urged for reconstitution of the Film Censor Panel as a Statutory Body.
The report also provides an analysis of film censorship and its effect on censorship, arguing against government interference and for the establishment of a self-regulating system. The framework must be put in place for advising people if their film is fit for exhibition or not.
What is Film Censorship?
The purpose of film censorship is to prevent the exhibition of films that are obscene, pornographic, defamatory, or are made in violation of other laws. Censorship is a form of, if not direct, control.
Film censorship was regulated under the Cinematograph Act 1952. However, the Cinematograph (Amendment) Act 2012 recently substituted this act and brought about changes in the roles and responsibilities of various governmental bodies, including the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC), a statutory board under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).
Findings of GD Khosla Report 1969
The Khosla Report was submitted to the government in July 1969. Even though the Committee did not have access to all the records of the film industry and only had partial information about the economics of many production houses, it still made serious observations about how corruption cuts across every aspect of the film industry including creation, distribution, and exhibition.
GD Khosla Report 1969 says that the Film Industry is a powerful medium of entertainment and influence and that it has an important role to play in social evolution. At this stage of its growth, those who control the medium must be responsible citizens who would not use the freedom guaranteed to destroy values or corrupt or debauch society.
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What the Khosla Committee had recommended in 1969 was that there should be a judicial system to regulate the film industry. The report clearly says that the government should have no direct concern with censorship and it should also have no direct role in establishing censors, revising, or examining films.
As far as censorship is concerned, all films are subject to the Cinematograph Act of 1952, which is enforced by the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC). The CBFC has instituted the provision of self-censorship by way of certification based on certain guidelines set down by its own board members.
FAQs on Khosla Committee
Q1. What did the Khosla Committee recommend?
The Khosla Committee recommended the appointment of a Board of Censors constituted by the government which will have the freedom to control the technical aspects and make appropriate suggestions for any kind of film. The Board will be only advisory in nature and not have the power to grant or withhold a certificate.
Q2. What was the decision of the government on the Khosla Committee report?
The government rejected the proposals of the Khosla Committee report and hence did not implement a judicial system for imposing censorship.
Q3. What were the main takeaways from the Khosla Committee report?
The main takeaways from the Khosla Committee report are as follows -
The Supreme Court was of the view that film is a medium of entertainment and not propaganda. Therefore, it can be produced without any restriction against any law. Hence, the committee concluded that there should not be any censorship provided it does not go against any law.
The Committee also pressed for self-censorship if the government exercises control over the industry members through private or government agencies. Therefore, instead of the government actively censoring or certifying films, private members will do it with certain guidelines and restrictions imposed by the Board itself.
Q4. Why does the Khosla Committee suggest self-regulation?
Khosla Committee was not in favour of government control over the film industry. It felt that the film industry has its systems capable of standing on its own feet and self-regulating itself.