Inspired by the successful "Save The Internet" campaign, which was launched last year in a fight for net neutrality, a group of social media users have now started a "Save Our Cinema" campaign "to help the Indian movie watching public participate in the policy building process around censorship in the country".
This comes in the wake of a panel formed by the Centre earlier this year to look into the revamp of the Censor Board and suggest modifications in the Cinematograph Act. Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal, who heads the panel, was even quoted as saying that the censor board revamp committee is there to do a"thorough job" and not simply "window dressing".
Soon after the announcement, the committee issued a statement, which has been published on the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) website, seeking views from the public "on the certification process being followed by CBFC and suggestions if any within the ambit of the existing Act, Rules and guidelines".
Last week, Bengaluru-based Sharath C George started a Reddit-thread urging people to send their views to the panel. "If you are angry with the censor board giving us 'Sanskari Deadpool', here's your chance to make a difference," the thread said. The Huffington Post reported that after Sharathâ€™s thread received a lot of interaction and reached Reddit Indiaâ€™s front page, two more Redditors joined him to give shape to the campaign. While Yasasvy Nanyam, a movie buff knowledgeable about censorship in India and currently a PhD student based in the United States, drafted the response, Avinash Sajjanshetty, a Python developer from Bengaluru, coded the website.
The website, saveourcinema.in, explains what the project is about and also contains a draft email which people can send to the NDFC. There is also the option of editing the email according to oneâ€™s requirements.
"We are optimistic that this exercise will lead to a change in the way things are being done by the board," Sharath told HP.
The content of the email includes a number of issues including the authority of censor board members, dual ratings for movies, effect of over censoring and use of public health warnings.