Bhaskar interview: Pahlaj Nihalani said about censorship on OTT – If OTT does not require a certificate then it should not be in films too.


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7 minutes agoAuthor: Umesh Kumar Upadhyay

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After the opposition of web series like ‘Mirzapur’, ‘Tandava’, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javade has taken cognizance of bringing the censor board guidelines on the content of OTT platform. In such a situation, Dainik Bhaskar interacted with Pahlaj Nihalani on increasing the team of the censor board, the way they work, the impact on the OTT platform after being censored. Here are excerpts from the conversation …

Q. How will it be possible to censor content that is streamed on the OTT platform?
A.
The guideline is from 1952 when the CBSC rule was made. If censoring is to be done inside the CBSC, then a separate wing can be created for it. Only OTT should be censored in it, because the volume of OTT is very large. If you mix everyone, then you will have to have separate staff for that. Today the staff is less in the censors that are being censored.

As of now, the panel members are running old, new appointments have not been made. The chairman is still running old, yet he has not been Continued. Meaning that a permanent staff is not required. The officers who came to Temperari also ended their term. They are also leaving. The chairman’s time is over in August. Haven’t been to office for a year and a half. What does it mean to be such an officer? When he is not able to go to office for one and a half years, what will he suggest to the government? If OTT does not require a censor certificate, then films should not be there.

Q. How much will it be to censor foreign content in India?
A.
If you want, everything is possible. If the government wants to have self-regulation, then self-regulation should be brought in films, or else close the office. Makes no sense. Then whatever public objections occur, let them go to court. When the producer is upset, then no such work will be done.

Q. Things like violence, abusive language are being served on OTT, what to say on this?
A.
Parliament should issue guidelines that we will not allow this thing to be shown. The officer now decides. Producers should decide that if it does not fit in the guideline, then the case will be run over it. Just like there is self regulation in USA. Things that are not allowed there are not shown. But we have a 1952 guideline going on here.

Like USA, the film industry should be given a guideline whether you want to show it or not. Everything should be written. Then the producer will decide. In such a situation, there will be no need for a censor board. Give some directions.

Q. Suppose censorship is implemented on OTT platform, what will be its future?
A.
There will be no future. Content only plays, abuses and abuses. Powerful content will work. Then show him either way. See, film is a mirror of society. People follow both good and bad things in the society. The number one position of an artist comes in everything that happens. Because people follow him. If he shows things good, then when he shows good and bad, then he becomes bad.

Q. The way things are coming on the OTT platform, has cinema been affected due to this?
A.
I do not understand Cinema was impressed when Doordarshan came new. But now people like to see different things. People see a little day, then forget. But no one can ever compete with cinema. The way new and new things are coming in digital, in the same way cinema and cinema hall are also changing. Things like 3D, IMAX are coming. As the competition progresses, cinema will also color differently.

Q. What improvements should be made in the censor board?
A.
There is nothing to improve. A lot of committees are sitting. Things have been building since 1966. Finally, from 2010 to 2020, two committees – Mudgal Committee and Shyam Benegal Committee have been formed. No improvement has come, pride does not want to. When there is conflict between each other, the government sets up the committee. Then she sits silently. Till date 1952 rule has not improved.

The rule is running in 1952, the cinema hall has been given permission according to the 1952 Act. The certificate is given according to 1952. Guide lines are given according to 1952. This means that whatever cinema is going on, the government itself is getting it wrong. It is not changing it. The projector was first made, now it is digital. Cinema was made digital, but when the film is censored it is done according to 1952.

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