Censor the board
Pahlaj Nihalani has proved one more time that he is unfit to be at the helm of the Central Board of Film Certification. He exemplifies how unworthy people in responsible positions can cause immense damage to the very institutions they lord over and the causes they are supposed to protect. His demand for as many as 89 cuts from Anurag Kashyap’s Udta Punjab betrays his staggering ignorance of the craft of cinematography. Films cannot be cut as a butcher chops the meat. Anyone who knows the ABC of film-making would not have ordered the scissoring of significant portions of the film in question on the flimsy ground that the state of Punjab is depicted in a bad light therein. The CBFC chairman’s business is not to find out who has taken money from whom to make a film. Nor should he be worried about the impact a film might make on an election. It is unfortunate that a film that seeks to spread awareness about the drug menace is sought to be subjected to rigorous censoring with a view to pleasing the political parties in power and the drug peddlers. It is perverted logic to hold that a film against drug addiction would tarnish the image of a state. By this logic, artistic creations cannot speak against ugly evils like alcoholism, sexual crimes, atrocities against Dalits, political corruption and religious intolerance. There is now the danger of the censorship being extended to other creative realms like literature and art. How can anyone say that films that ‘hold the mirror up to nature’ cannot cross the hurdle of CBFC. If Pahlaj Nihalani continues to say so, he must be given the sack.
G David Milton
Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu
The Fukushima & Chernobyl accidents have shown to the world that the safety of nuclear reactors cannot not be taken for granted even with the best safety systems in the face of natural calamities, mechanical failures or human errors. Both those countries are still battling the deleterious ill-effects of the lingering radiation. Therefore utmost care & competence, apart from a robust disaster management policy, is required for the design, operation and maintenance of the nuclear plants proposed to be set up near the coastal regions of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. It has to be remembered that the lives and rights of man, flora and fauna are at stake with these projects. Moreover how are the toxic nuclear wastes, which remain radioactive for hundreds of years, going to be safely disposed? As of now, the only solution is to vitrify and seal them(in steel containers) or burn (to transmutate) them. The local communities living within a distance of at least 150 kilometres of the plant have to be appraised of the potential hazards of nuclear power, much in advance. In the interests of sustainable development, it would be better if the energy needs are met more by renewable sources like solar, wind (offshore or terrestrial), natural gas and tidal power, while also conserving existing supplies by improving the energy efficiency of buildings, gadgets and appliances, and reducing T&D(Transmission & Distribution) losses. In our rush to meet the escalating energy demand, the ecological capital, which is crucial to the long-term survival of the mankind, should not be sacrificed.