The long-running (and intensifying) battle between India’s film directors and India’s censorship board brings us yet another melodramatic offering.
This, from the New Kerala:
Controversial Tamil film “New” continues to be mired in problems over charges of obscenity that have caused a sensation in the Tamil film industry.
Actor-director S.J. Suryah and his film earned some respite from the Supreme Court that Tuesday stayed a Madras High Court order to revoke the censor board approval for the film.
But the outcome of the case is being eagerly awaited by an industry that has often toed the thin line between art and obscenity on celluloid.
Released in July 2004, the film was a hit with campus audiences of both sexes.
Women’s groups here protested against the film and the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) took the matter to the high court demanding that the Central Board of Film Certification (censor board) clearance to the movie be revoked.
The high court agreed. On Aug 5, it directed the board to revoke certification for “New” after expressing concern over “vulgarity” in the film about an eight-year-old boy who in his dreams at night is transformed into a 28-year-old young man.
Suryah was arrested last week for misbehaving with a woman official of the censor board and released on bail. He was accused of throwing a mobile phone at Vanathy Srinivasan after she refused to allow an objectionable song in his film.
Srinivasan lodged a police complaint and a court issued a non-bailable warrant against the director. Suryah has been asked by the court to appear before the police daily at 10 a.m. until the next hearing on Sep 6.
In the Supreme Court, the petitioners contended that the film was in the realm of fantasy and should not be construed as obscene.
The apex court, staying the high court order of Aug 5, said the board certification could not be revoked. At best, the high court could order deletion of certain objectionable portions, he said.