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Censor Board and Its Certificates meaning?

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What Is Censor Board And The Value Of Its Certificates?

Movies can offer entertainment and enjoyment to you. But, do you realize that the unique method of storytelling can have an impact on your thought process? Movies can convey a story or an idea with a great impact. It has the power to change your perceptions. So, the Government of India founded the Censor Board in 1951. The Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) tries to limit the impact of a movie in your mind. Yes, as a citizen of a democratic country like India, you have the right to watch whatever you wish. But, without the censorship, you may have to subject yourself to graphic scenes in movies that can disturb you. Horror movies, war movies, romantic movies, etc. can have scenes of violence and vulgarity that may disturb you. So, the Indian censor board draws a line between the acceptable visuals and horrifying/disturbing ones. Sitting in a dark hall, a movie can make a huge impact that you cannot comprehend completely. Therefore, the Censor Board with respect to all filmmakers filters the visuals and language to make it more acceptable to you and the general mass. It prevents you from sitting through horrible or gruesome scenes. A filmmaker who needs to include such scenes can present their justification to the board. So, they get the apt certification without any cuts to their movies from the censor board.

What Is Censor Certificate?

  • The CBFC comes under the Government of India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting department. It is the statutory classification and censorship body operating in India. The main task of the censor board is to regulate the movies according to the Cinematograph Act 1952 (under the regulation of public exhibition of films). The censor board in India is one of the powerful ones as it follows strict guidelines to certify a film. The censor certificate is the black and white page you see at the beginning of a movie. The CBFC issues four main types of certificates that are indicated in capital letters at the top right corner. So, the classification of the certificates are:
  • A Certificate (Adults Only)
    It is strictly for people aged above 18 years of age. The movie may contain graphic violence, sex scenes, or abusive/controversial themes.
  • U/A (Parental Guidance Necessary)
    Children below 12 years of age can watch the movie only with parental guidance. The movie may contain moderate sex scenes, frightening scenes, abusive language or violence (moderate to strong).
  • S (Restricted to a special category of audiences)
    The movie is not available for public viewing. Only a special type of audience associated with the movie like doctors, engineers or researchers can view it.
  • Value Of The Censor Certificates
    According to the Supreme Court Judgement issued in 1989, it is necessary for all film to undergo evaluation by the CBFC. Since the movie has more impact than words printed on the paper, it can change the thought process of people. Your emotions and mind can get affected by the combination of action and speech in the films. Therefore, movies have the power to instill good or violent behavior, especially in children. The certification is not desirable, but an utmost necessity. You may wonder what its value is. Read below to understand the importance of censor certificates:
  • If a filmmaker wants to exhibit his movie in cinema halls or televisions, the certificate is an absolute necessity. So, without the censor certificate, public exhibition of the moves in India is impossible.
  • The movies that get the U certificate from the CBFC can avail 30% entertainment tax exemption. It can reduce the money spent on releasing the movie. The U certificate can attract the family audience to the theater too.
  • According to the media rights under Article 19 (1) (a), it is important to scrutinize the movie before it reaches the masses. The public can get carried away with the messages provided in the films.

Earlier the movies needed censor certificates to send the movies for International Film Festivals. But, from 2016, it is not required. The censorship is still a mandatory process as it makes the movie milder in nature. It prevents the disturbance of mental peace and avoids any trauma. A movie with alterations and elimination is watchable by people of all age groups.

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