Sorry, James–India Censors Long Kiss in ‘Spectre’

Spectre james bond
Courtesy of Sony

KOCHI — Devika Rani and her real life husband Himanshu Rai kissed long and hard, four minutes to be precise, in “Karma”. That was in 1933 when the Indian Cinematograph Act of 1918 governed censorship of Indian cinema in the days of the British Raj.

It is a different story in 2015. Now governed by the Indian Cinematograph Act of 1952, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) under the stewardship of former purveyor of raunch Pahlaj Nihalani, has become increasingly prudish since appointed by the Narendra Modi regime earlier this year. A kiss between two of Bollywood’s hottest stars Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in the upcoming romantic comedy “Tamasha”, was deemed to be too long by the CBFC and it was duly shortened.

And now, the same fate has befallen James Bond. The CBFC has ordered kisses between Daniel Craig and co-stars Monica Bellucci and Léa Seydoux in November 20 releases “Spectre” to be reduced by 50%.

The decision has come in for some merciless flak in India. CBFC board member Ashoke Pandit made his displeasure known in a series of tweets. “Pahlaj Nihalani has always functioned on his own accord and I don’t subscribe to his curtailing of creative rights,” Pandit began. He continued with, “Spectre” is an internationally applauded film, bt again Pahalaj Nihalani messes it up by shading it with his own thought process,” and “Nihalani’s action should not be a reflection of my choices. I feel it’s a mockery of the freedom of a filmmaker.”

Referring to Nihalani’s past body of work as a producer Pandit tweeted: “Pahalaj Nilhalani is a maker who started d trend of ‘vulgarity’ in Indian cinema esp. songs & is now giving sermons 2 filmmakers.”

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  1. Bry says:

    An outrage. And this from a country that gave the world tantric sex. Pandit is right. Stop living in the 1950s, Nihalani. That’s all we need right now, with the ISIS zealots killing people to promote their particular brand of fundamentalist theocracy and influence the kinds of cartoons people draw.

    India: get rid of your particular versions of the Hays Code and The National Legion of Decency.

    The only thing sacred and untouchable is the expressive freedom in the creative process of a filmmaker.

    Everyone who cares about the future creative rights ought to protest this blatant act of censorship.

  2. stevenkovacs says:

    Are you kidding me? Coming from a country of 2 BILLION people, where a LOT more than kissing going on! 👄

  3. patrik says:

    this kiss Italian(M. Belluci), and this kiss security(D. Craig)

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