The CSF protests “Who’s There?” movie advertisement
The CSF Protest to Police Commissioner and Censor Board to halt film
Complaint also filed with Vakola Police Station, Mumbai for registering offence
The Catholic-Christian Secular Forum (CSF), the Mumbai-based activist community NGO takes strong exception to the movie Who’s There? (Kaun Hai Waha?) which hurts Christian sentiments for its portrayal of the community. The CSF general secretary, Joseph Dias, has in a complaint protested against an advertisement showing Jesus Christ on the Cross and a man moving menacing, knife in hand, towards him to stab him. The advertisement is featured in the media as pre-release publicity poster with the a caption – “This time evil will win” which mocks the Christian faith.
The CSF will stall the release scheduled for 18th November, unless it is satisfied that the Church and the religion are shown in proper light. The movie is directed by Ejaz Ahmed and produced by Wasim Shaikh, which has hurt religious feelings and hence is a punishable offence. The makers of the movie know nothing about Church exorcism, since the film deals with a ghost haunting a newly married couple.
Joseph Dias points out that even the category of certification ( Universal or Adults ) is not mentioned in the advertisement and hence, as per Rule 38 of Cinematograph (Certification) Rules 1983, non compliance of this rule is a cognizable and non-bailable offence under section 7 of Cinematograph Act 1952.
According to The CSF, the Christian faith is misinterpreted and shown in bad light. The move will disturb communal harmony and action can also be taken under sections 153A , 153B & 505 (1 & 2) of the Indian Penal Code, section 295 of the Criminal Procedure Code and other relevant laws of the land. ” Is it possible that a man be shown attacking Allah or any other god in a film or poster? Then why should a man be shown in such a manner with the Christian God? asks Joseph Dias.
The CSF will also campaign for a Blasphemy Law, covering “no offence to any religion”, with leaders of other faiths and present a memorandum to the federal law & minorities minister, Salman Khurshid, as in India religion is a very sensitive issue with all faiths.
Joseph Dias also points out that the 5B (2)guidelines of the Censor Board are also reasons to act, which states – The film is to be examined in the interests of public order, decency or involves defamation or contempt of court. The courts have repeatedly urged sensitivity and that the contemporary standards, be kept in mind, besides the opinions of the people, whom the film portrays. Some CBFC guidelines that the film violates and reasons for not granting it a screening certificate are under the following:
1. I) the film must be responsible and sensitive to the values and standards of society;
2. iv) pointless or avoidable scenes of violence, cruelty & horror, de-sensitising or de-humanising people.
2. v ) scenes which have the effect of justifying or glorifying drinking are not shown
2. xii) visuals or words contemptuous of racial, religious or other groups are not presented.
2. xiii) visuals or words which promote communal, obscurantist, anti-scientific… are not presented.
2. xviii) visuals or words involving defamation or contempt of court are not presented….
In view of the above, The CSF calls for the movie certificate to be recalled, if given and action taken against those who have made it, to serve as a deterrent. Joseph Dias has complained to the authorities to register an offence and said, if need be, The CSF will go to court and seek remedial action.