Earlier, Kamal Haasan had also tweeted about the Bill, asking others to join him in protest.

Suriya with a beard and wearing white t shirt has tilted his head slightly to a side, looks at the camera and smiles, the background is also white
Flix Controversy Friday, July 02, 2021 - 16:50

"The law exists to protect freedom of expression, not to strangle its voice. Today's the last day, go ahead and file your objections!!" tweeted Tamil star Suriya Sivakumar. The urgent message is a call to record objections against the controversial Cinematograph Amendment Bill of 2021, introduced by the Union government. Suriya has also shared a document —  drafted by filmmakers, academics and others —  that those who wish to object to the Bill can endorse and write to the Union Ministry independently as well. 

"As another blow to the film fraternity, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has proposed new amendments to the Cinematograph Act under which the Union government would have the power to revoke or recall certification of films which have already been cleared by the Censor Board. Undermining the sovereignty of the Censor Board and the Supreme Court, this provision will effectively give the Union government supreme power over cinema exhibition in the country potentially endangering freedom of expression and democratic dissent. This will also render filmmakers powerless at the hands of the state and vulnerable to threats, vandalism and intimidation of mob censors," begins the document. 

The Cinematograph Bill, giving powers to the Union government to super-censor an already certified film came as a rude shock to filmmakers across the country. Malayalam director Kamal, Tamil director Vetri Maaran and documentary maker Anand Patwardhan told TNM last week how absurd and unconstitutional the whole move is. As it is, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) goes through multiple checks before a film gets its certificate, sometimes with multiple cuts. The filmmakers pointed out that members of the CBFC are mostly replaced by a new government, and often to suit the interests of the government in power. On top of that, giving the Union government power to pull back a film that's already got a certificate and is running in theatres or OTT platforms is simply too much, they added.

Read: Absurd and unconstitutional: Kamal, Vetrimaaran and Patwardhan on Cinematograph Bill



The document shared by Suriya says, "As concerned filmmakers, academics, researchers, programmers, students, technicians, lawyers and members of the civil society, we have drafted a response to the Ministry of I & B highlighting these concerns, in addition to comments on various other sections of the proposed Bill."

Veteran star Kamal Haasan too raised his objections recently and urged others to voice their concerns for "freedom, liberty." 

It was in April that the Union government made another controversial decision, banning the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), a panel that filmmakers could take their films to if they had disagreements with the cuts suggested by the examining and revising committees of the CBFC. 

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