Well well well, guess what’s new on the English movie channels airing on Indian television these days. Yes, you guessed right, they’ve started editing out kissing scenes from movies. That means after MJ pulls down Spiderman’s mask, what you’ll see next is the two pulling away. If you’ve not seen the uncut version, you’ll never realize there was a liplock which was, you guessed right again, obscene. No, not beautiful and romantic, an onscreen kiss is downright obscene. Ask the guys at the Censor Board and they might as well tell you that watching kisses on television can make men sexually volatile and hence lead to an increase in crimes against women. But hey, this is India. Here, even holding hands in public with your wife can be labeled an obscenity (psst, people don’t say “I love you” to their spouses; no wonder they’ll scream when they see you pronouncing your wife as the love of your life).
No wonder, then, that bare backs are also conveniently edited out. If kisses can be obscene, watching these is downright iniquitous. Now of course, most Page 3 parties have women showing about as much skin on their back as Angelina Jolie in the forgotten Wanted scene. The latter is obscene of course, because the general public can see it. Now, a simple question arises: what is the need for these ridiculous censors when everyone has ready access to the Internet? And, if the Censor Board feels these scenes (which weren’t even regarded as obscene here in India a few years ago) have a derogatory effect on the psyche, what about news channels splashing fantastic breaking news of an impending destruction of Earth and mankind? Or the shows on TV which make money by exploiting (and trivializing) human feelings towards babies, or those that make people believe (via a truth chair) that extramarital relations are a must-try?
The strategy is simple: they’ll do all this, and the next time an innocent girl is raped in Delhi, they’ll yawn and say, “We’ve done what we can. We’ve even removed all the crime-inducing scenes from movies. We can do no more. Go home.” I get miffed further when the subtitles running on these English movies (I don’t need subtitles, didn’t you know from my English?) replace the mildest of expletives like “damn” and “hell” with “darn” and “heck”. Ask a kid in middle school to blurt out the gaalis he knows and he could go on for hours. Moral of the story? You might have ready access to anything on the www, but the Censor Board will know it’s kept you away from your basic instincts by this: