States of abdication

While state governments need to reaffirm their resolve to keep the peace even as they protect the right to expression, they must resist the temptation to ban. The Censor Board is the sole authority for evaluating the fitness of a film for screening. Earlier, the Supreme Court had observed that a film cleared for screening should be shown and had cautioned against the use of protest as a tool of censorship. Now, the I&B minister has spoken of amending the Cinematograph Act to reaffirm the primacy of the Censor Board. Perhaps nothing less will end this epidemic of censorship by protest, with the abetment of governments at the Centre and in the states.

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