Govt plans to restrict car chases in films

Already feeling stifled because of statutory restrictions on scenes showing smoking and drinking, filmmakers may find their creativity further constrained as the government plans to restrict car chases, stunts, and collisions. They will have to either face the censor’s scissors or agree to paste a warning on the screen, as it appears on smoking and drinking scenes.

In this regard, a high-level meeting took place on March 16 which was attended by Special Secretary, Information & Broadcasting Ministry, officials of the Central Board of Film Certification (censor board), Doordarshan, and Akashvani, and representatives of the automobile industry and advertising participated. The agenda was how to check the glamorization of speeding and car stunts, said official sources. The rationale was that Indian roads are dangerous, and audio-visual depiction further aggravates the matter.

According to National Crime Research Bureau data, 51 cases of road accidents took place every one hour during 2014, wherein 16 persons were killed. During 2014, a total of 450,898 cases of road accidents were reported which killed 141,526 persons and injured 477,731. Moreover, deaths due to road accidents have increased by 2.9 per cent during 2014 over 2013.

The specific instances mentioned included Salman Khan’s ad, Aaj kuchh toofani karte hain, which has bike stunts, James Bond’s famous car chases, and Rohit Shetty’s movies in which automobiles do all sorts of things.

Countering the move against car ads, an auto industry representative said that the companies that launch high-end, fast vehicles have to show them speeding up. The manufacturers of such car cannot lecture people to drive slowly.

Censor board officials said that their job is to certify movies, not lecture people what to do or not to do. Doordarshan and Akashvani officials said that they would implement policies.

There will be another meeting, said sources, adding that the film industry is already annoyed with the restrictions regarding smoking and drinking scenes. Another restriction would have them up in arms.