Race 2 Targeted for Indecency
Bollywood movie Race 2 proved too racy for its own good. According to Indiatimes, members of the Delhi High Court reacted strongly to a charge that Race 2 displayed violence and nudity at a Public Interest Litigation hearing on Wednesday.
The complaint against the film was filed by a social worker named Teena Sharma, who said she was disturbed by the nude scenes and racy dialogue.
Race 2 is an action thriller starring Anil Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, and John Abraham. It was given a UA rating by the Central Film Certification Board, commonly known as the Censor Board. The UA rating is roughly equivalent to PG-13 in Canada.
The complaint challenged the UA rating, pointing out “the film had been screened in 50 countries and graded as an adult movie in 40 countries. …The contents of the film are highly objectionable and therefore the film got an A rating (Restricted) for screening in the US and Britain.”
“Please think where the film industry is going. You are teaching indiscipline to children,” Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice V.K. Jain said at the hearing.
The court has sought response from the Censorship Board, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and the Delhi Government.
Censorship has always been something of a hot button issue in India. While India’s Constitution guarantees freedom of expression, limitations are placed on content considered threatening to communal or religious harmony.
The challenge is what’s considered immoral or threatening can be interpreted subjectively. To complicate matters further, there’s been a massive value shift between different generations. Additionally, the Censor Board has been the target of harsh criticism for being too restrictive in the past.
Although Race 2 received mixed reviews, it enjoyed significant success at the box office, suggesting audiences were generally unoffended by the content. But the outcome of this case could set an interesting precedence for Bollywood and inspire more drama than the movie itself.