The Great Indian Code of ‘Morality’

With the release of Fifty Shades of Grey worldwide (on Valentine’s Day), the movie is being received well throughout. The flick, based on the erotic romance novel written by the British author E.L. James, talks about the journey of a man who likes to excise control and a woman who likes it and their blooming sexual relationship (Yes, we’re talking about BDSM here).

But the Indian fans seem to be in blues, for the uncertainty that’s eating up their patience, about whether or not the flick will be released in the nation, courtesy the Censor Board of Film Certification, because apparently, the flick is “too hot” for Indian audiences (because obviously, we produce our children by photosynthesis).

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‘Moral’, as defined by the dictionary is an adjective that is concerned with the principles of right and wrong behaviour; the manifestation of high principles for proper conduct.

Now, the ‘moral code’, as per the Central Board of Film Certification, is apparently just a shade of carnality. All that the Censor Board ever questions is the depiction of coitus on screen or (not always) profanities that are an extension of the same. What is incomprehensible is the fact that the portrayal of something as natural as sexual intercourse on screen holds far more significance than the kind of a message that the story sends across.

Objectionable lyrics and vulgarly objectification of women on screen is something nobody ever bats an eye about. We’re all okay with referring to women as “tandoori murgis” and what not and making them dance on obscene tracks, but portraying women having sex? NO NO! That’s blasphemous! And the inexplicable logic behind a depiction being ‘morally acceptable’ based on the marital status of the couple on screen is nothing short of sheer imbecility.

The Censor Board, apparently, has no qualms with the children dancing to indecent music tracks, but them watching a lovemaking illustration (which might just be a crucial essence of the script) on screen is just morally wrong.

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Given the fact that India is often called as the ‘land of the kamasutra’, the continual nitpicking of the ‘inappropriate’ on screen depictions comes across as an absolute contradiction, especially if we refer to the Ajanta Ellora caves as an intricate representation of art. What is unfathomable is why we cannot stop condemning something as vividly existent as sex and portraying it as something ‘immoral’; why we can’t rise above a basic bodily function and focus on the bigger picture!

It might be true that the perception of sexual activity as something taboo is extant in many parts of the country. But the constant assumption of the authenticity of this statement without carrying out any methods of revision and complete refutation of the possibility that this statistical proximity is only surface existent is just sheer ignorance. Which brings us to the sorry fact that sometimes, even if the film has been approved by the Censor Board, the “morally upright” people of the society never seem to back off when it comes to holding protests against such flicks.

A glimpse from Fifty Shades of Grey

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Now, we don’t know whether it’s the stagnant culture that is only existent in the minds of the censor board members, or it’s the desire of keeping themselves and their ‘naive’ audience under the shade of delusion that there isn’t a concept of sexual maturity that exists, or, like mentioned above, it’s sheer ignorance, but the judgements certainly don’t stand solid on accountability grounds. Having mentioned that, there can only be two possible explanations behind what it is that is- irrationality or hypocrisy.

P.S.- Here’s a glimpse of the flick, approved by the Censor Board of Film Certification. (Tehe):-

By Dhwani Mohan

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