Cinema & Bollywood · Culture & Life · Fiction · Politics

A Satire on India’s Porn Ban and other Censorship

[Almost every government at national and state levels in India has always given in to the tempting fumes of the seductive political dope called ‘Indian culture and tradition’. But being so mindblowingly diverse, in India one woman’s culture can be another woman’s sin and one man’s tradition can be another man’s abuse. Still, each govt likes to make its own rigid definitions of India, Indianness and Indian culture. This article, written as a news report, aims to satirize the exceedingly absurd idea (subscribed to by both national and regional political parties) of trying to cage the gigantic and dynamic entity of ‘Indian culture’ within narrow, opportunistic definitions.]

In a development that is sure to delight filmmakers Vishal Kashyap and Anurag Bhardwaj, the Censor Board chief has issued fresh injunctions on the use of abusive language in Indian movies. After washing its tongue off the infamous list of ‘banned’ cuss words, the Ministry of Indian Culture in Media has taken a complete U-turn and come up with a list of ‘mandatory usage’ cuss words. It contains 69 expletives in Hindi out of which, the Ministry has ordered, every movie must compulsorily employ at least ten to be cleared for public viewing.

“Certain MPs and MLAs recently complained to us that teenagers and youth in India, who are the future of the nation, are falling prey to dangerous Western methods of swearing. Even a five-yr old knows the word ‘fuck’ these days, but no one knows our traditional Indian cuss words. This is totally unacceptable,” said the Censor Board chief at a packed press conference.

“In keeping with the government’s agenda of fiercely protecting and upholding Indian values and culture, we have come up with this important and historic list to safeguard our traditional swearing rituals. It is expected that exposing Indian audiences to these phrases will replace the current foreign slang from their vocabularies with culturally-appropriate Indian slang.”

A Ministry official quipped, “This regulation is in the interest of the nation. We do believe in being modern, but in the name of modernity we will not let go of our glorious abusive past.”

Along with the compulsion of 10 words for basic clearance (with an ‘A’ certificate), the new rules mandate the insertion of at least 20 enlisted words into a film’s script for a U certificate approval. 36 words will earn a movie the coveted tax-free status.

The film industry has welcomed this move.

Director Bharadwaj tweeted: ‘Great move by Censor board. At once decided to rename the forthcoming Kaminay sequel as Bhosdikay.’

Filmmaker Kashyap is reported to have immediately bought the rights to at least a dozen film titles including Black Lawday, ChuLaal and Gaandus of Wasseypur.

Actor Rockie Shroff was ecstatic on knowing that his famous gift to the Indian swear vocabulary, maushi ki gaand, was among the Ministry-sanctioned cuss words.

Director Zoya, however, was not amused. In a telephonic interview she lamented, “There is not a single English cuss word in the list. How can I make movies now? None of my characters ever speaks crude Hindi. The elite wealthy Indians, as you know, talk a different language altogether.”

Several opposition parties too have slammed the move.

“This is nothing but another extension of the govt’s agenda of ‘Commonsense-Mukt Bharat’,” said PTBB (Proud To Be Backward) party secretary Jaatiprasad Yadav.

“The list is an embarrassing mockery of true India. Majority of the 69 sanctioned cuss words are those used by upper caste Hindi speakers. Local dialects and vernacular cusses of the lower castes have been ignored. We have decided to protest and to petition the govt to revise the list.”

Meanwhile, state governments have been notified to come up with similar lists in their respective languages for the benefit of regional filmmakers.

“We are excited about this move,” said one official from the govt of Maharashtra. “Our own Marathi swearing culture has been totally hijacked by bhaiyyas for decades. Mumbai kids are saying Bhenchodh and Chutiye more often than Phuknichya and Yadzavya. We are now going to change it all.”

Along with regulating the field of cinema, the ministry has also decided to control pornography on the Internet.

“What filth are we exposing our children to these days?” exclaimed the Censor Board chief.

“These American and European porn videos are offensive to Indian culture and values. In our culture women are never supposed to enjoy sex and scream and writhe in pleasure. All our scriptures ordain the woman to be silent, meek and submissive. But Western porn is corrupting the innocent minds of our young girls, who we desire to properly prepare for their future roles as demure wives.”

Nobody in the press conference was prepared for what the chief said next.

“Prior failed attempts have taught us that banning Internet porn is an impossible task. So to put an end to this anti-Indian pornographic influence from the West, the govt has decided to intervene and itself create customized, culturally-appropriate adult content. These videos will explicitly depict bedroom culture and behaviour dipped in traditional Indian values for the benefit of our youth.”

The chief however declined to comment when veteran journalist Dwarka Dutt asked: One assumes these films will also teach marital rape to youngsters, which is surprisingly integral to both Indian culture and Indian law?

In a smart move the govt has given the charge for this extraordinary mission (named NARI for National Adult-content Revision Initiative) to the director known for sucking out, to the very last drop, all traces of pleasure from the screen: Mahendra Khandelwal.

“Education, Not Masturbation” will be the motto of the federally-commissioned pornography.

Actress Poonangi Pandey, best known for exposing jobless youth to extreme dermatological details of the Indian female body, has tweeted an offer to play the female lead.

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