Obscenity in Indian Film

Powerful Essays
Cultural Emergency?
In the latter half of the 1990s, censorship became an obsessive topic in the Indian media.
For about five years, it seemed that one could not turn around without coming across yet another story about a magazine editor being harassed or even beaten by right wing goons, about cinemas showing the films of Deepa Mehta or Mira Nair being trashed, about
Bollywood starlets or saucy models being summoned to court for obscenity or indecency, about offending books, paintings and articles being slashed and burned amid saffron flags and TV cameras. Hindi film director Mahesh Bhatt, always ready with a sound bite, went so far as to call it a “cultural emergency” (Bhatt 1998).1 The implication was that various forces were now imposing, in the cultural domain, the kind of political repression for which Indira Gandhi became infamous in the mid-1970s. Censorship was in the courts and in the streets. The very idea of censorship as an exclusive prerogative of the state was being called into question, as all manner of activists and enthusiasts – with more or less tenuous connections to official powers – appeared ready to capitalize on the spectacular possibilities of the 24-hour news cycle that cable television had recently brought to India.
At the time, I was watching out of the corner of my eye – most of my attention was focused on the advertising business, about which I was writing a book. To be sure,
1 Derek Bose notes that Bhatt provoked protests with his statements in support of pornography at a time when he was on the governing council of the Government-owned Film and Television Institute of India in Pune: “In a memorandum to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, prominent women’s organizations in the country demanded Bhatt’s removal on the grounds that no Indian citizen and particularly one holding a government office can affirm the right to watch pornography” (2005: 150).
2
advertising had enjoyed its share of controversies

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Obscenity

    • 872 Words
    • 4 Pages

    From my original thoughts on obscenity, I found some similarities in the class discussion and some conflicts. However, after reading some responses, I am questioning some of the points. For example, I stated, “something must be banned if it considered so offensive to the average person…” What are the standards for an “average” person? I still believe that the FCC guideless are appropriate in regards to profanity and nudity, sex, etc. air on open public radio and television. The key here…

    • 872 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Obscenity Law

    • 6105 Words
    • 25 Pages

    The vague, subjective, and indeterminate nature of Canadian obscenity law has been called “the most muddled law in Canada.” Recognizing that consistency and objectivity are important aspects in the running of any successful legal system, the Supreme Court of Canada has attempted to systematically clarify and modernize obscenity law. The ruling in R. v. Butler marked the transformation of the law of obscenity from a "moral-based" offence to a "harm-based" offence. The courts are now asked to determine…

    • 6105 Words
    • 25 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Obscenity Essay

    • 582 Words
    • 3 Pages

    View the definition and historical development of the term obscenity here: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/obscenity How has the definition of the term been affected by institutions such as the Supreme Court and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)? Supreme Court recognized, this could hurt all of our free speech rights. However they did say there was a "legitimacy and importance of the congressional goal of protecting children from harmful materials", but that the CDA was…

    • 582 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Indian Film Industry

    • 2940 Words
    • 12 Pages

    INDIAN FILM INDUSTRY ANALYSIS(growth) The Indian Film Industry has been one of the oldest segments of the Indian entertainment industry. The Lumiere Brothers brought motion pictures to India in 1896, and since then there has been no looking back. Today, India has the world's biggest movie industry that churns out around one thousand movies each year. The Indian Film Industry is witnessing mark improvements on all spheres - from the technology used in making films to the themes of the movies, exhibition…

    • 2940 Words
    • 12 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Chaucer's Obscenities

    • 2911 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Bill Watts Butler University Sept. 15, 2010 346IMU, Indiana Room Chaucer’s Swyvyng in Context (Slide 1) After declaring that “Chaucer followed Nature everywhere,” and that God’s plenty can be found in his works, John Dryden, in his Preface to the Fables, Ancient and Modern, considers why Chaucer includes “low characters” in the Canterbury Tales, such as “the Reeve, the Miller, the Shipman, the Merchant, the Sumner, and above all, the Wife of Bath, in the prologue…

    • 2911 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Indian Film Industry

    • 7570 Words
    • 31 Pages

    Identification of critical success factors in the Indian film industry and studying their interrelationship [pic] MARKETING RESEARCH PROJECT REPORT UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF Contents 1. Introduction to the Problem 2. Research Objectives 3. Methodology a) What we did for the primary data b) Questionnaire in the Project Proposal c) Questionnaire we actually…

    • 7570 Words
    • 31 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    For Jay Gatsby to turn out all right at the end as the narrator promises, he must first be erased of his obscenity and indeterminacy. Barbara Will, the author of The Great Gatsby and The Obscene Word, argues in her criticism that only then can Gatsby come to stand as the vision of Americanism and, inevitably, America itself. The sociological criticism discusses the novel as the product of its time period, focusing on the American isolationist movement of the early 1920s and how, through the characters…

    • 498 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In order to narrow down the focus of my research, this paper will briefly discuss what is considered obscene and the different ways in which obscenity will manifest itself. Obscenity law aims at punishment for thoughts provoked or preventing the formation of certain thoughts, typically, erotic ones in the minds of willing viewers but not for overt acts, nor for antisocial conduct. Although the United States Constitution protects the freedom of speech, the First Amendment was not intended to…

    • 433 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The International Asian Research Journal 02(01): pp.36-42, 2014 ISSN: 2310-337X ©TIARJ Publications, 2014 www.tiarj.com MEDIA OBSCENITY AND SOCIAL DISORDER 1 1 Muhammad Riaz Raza PhD Fellow, Department of Mass Communication, Gomal University D.I. Khan, Pakistan. Abstract: Media is the wonderful invention of this age that has commanded the recognition as an agent of socialization. Media has been accused of distorting established cultural values and norms at the same when it has…

    • 4340 Words
    • 18 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    In 1876, the Indian Act was passed as an attempt to civilize the Aboriginal people. In the movie “Bury my heart at wounded knee”, during the event of “Little bighorn”, the US. government decided that the Indian’s way of fighting, which used techniques like scalping was not acceptable. The Europeans saw scalping as barbaric but the Indians used it as a cultural punishment. However, while trying to help the Indians, the Indian Act ended up trying to assimilate them into European culture. The Europeans…

    • 198 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays