India's traditionally ultra-conservative Censor Board has announced that it may allow pornographic films to be played in certain cinemas. Having so far been unable to control widespread abuse of its rules, it has opted to regulate the practice and, presumably, impose entertainment taxes.
Filmmaker Vijay Anand, Chairman of India's Central Board of Film Certification is revising the Cinematograph Act of India 1952 and planning to introduce the concept of approved adult cinemas across India that will be allowed to screen X-Rated films with special permission.
In the meantime, the Censor Board has hired ex-policemen to monitor cinemas for films with even the slightest hint of vulgarity, nudity or obscenity. Last year, it hired a private detective agency to keep tabs on films exhibited in Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai.
A board official told Screendaily that detectives will keep a watch on around 800 cinemas in Bombay, Delhi, Madras and Calcutta. The most common censorship offence is the re-insertion of sex scenes that have been cut. It is an accepted fact that censorship offences "thrive" in small cities.
Traditionally, the board has been a zealous censor, ordering the removal of anything it deemed offensive, including sex, nudity, violence or politically sensitive subjects.
Internationally known Indian filmmakers including Shekhar Kapur (Bandit Queen & Elizabeth), Deepa Mehta (Fire) and Mira Nair (Kama Sutra) have had problems with Indian Censors for a long time. Mira Nair was ordered to make 40 cuts in her movie Kama Sutra, which was judged too hot for India.