October 27, 2015

India - Calcutta: Banal Moral policing every day - Screening of film stopped on obscenity charge

The Hindu, Kolkata, October 27, 2015

Screening of film stopped on obscenity charge

Staff Reporter

The screening of award winning Bengali film Bheetu in New Delhi was stopped by a senior office-bearer of a socio-cultural organisation of Bengalis who claimed it was obscene.

The incident took place on Saturday evening at the Muktadhara auditorium in the Goal Market area of New Delhi. The film had had a commercial run in Kolkata for many months after obtaining Censor Certificate.

The screening started at around 6.30 p.m. and after about 30 minutes the general secretary of the Bengal Association Tapan Sengupta stopped it alleging it had “obscene contents” that went against the “Bengali culture.”

The film’s director Utsav Mukherjee, however, said that a member of the association saw the movie prior to its screening. “From the beginning, they knew that the film had been rated A by the Central Board of Film Certification. It was also mentioned in the poster made for the screening,” he told The Hindu on Monday.

Mr. Mukherjee claimed that the majority of the audience wanted the screening to continue. But Mr. Sengupta, he said, paid no heed to them. “He barged into the projection room to stop the screening and then locked it.”

Mr. Sengupta admitted that he stopped the screening. “Such objectionable content is against our sense of decency and morality. It is against our culture.”