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Censorship in India: Protection or Supression?

The power of films was recognized long ago and they have been controlled ever since

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Censorship in India, the power to stay in power
Censorship in India, a suppression of the free speech or a motive to protect the vulnerable? Pixabay

New Delhi, November 6, 2017: Film, as one understands, is the basis of all motion pictures and both the most persuasive and pervasive form of communication in the contemporary world. Following the development of technology, films have become much more ubiquitous and accessible. It is quite apparent that films have a lot more to them than just the purpose of entertainment. Not just a communicator of ideas, a film is also a crucial pedagogical tool that facilitates learning, spreads awareness, and motivates participation from the audiences. It is an efficient medium to help audience rethink their place in the world and to encourage them to do something for good.

Noting how influential films are as a medium of communication, the topic that
always remains hot is Censorship.

Censorship is not something that can easily be placed in the category of good or bad, in fact, both its supporters and those against it, have broken their necks to justify their arguments.

Films can change attitudes, inspire people and influence them in the deepest of ways. This was recognized long ago when the 1925 Russian film, Battleship Potemkin, was banned across the world as its story and visualization were deemed so powerful that it had the potential to arouse social outrage.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) takes charge of Censorship in India. The board commands directors to remove everything it deems as offensive, on a regular basis. The CBFC has failed to convince a large audience with the reasons that it provided for the ban of certain films in India. One of these films is “Lipstick under my Burkha” which is the most recent film to become extremely popular for its ban in India. The reason that CBFC gave for the denial of certification to the film was that it is “Lady oriented”, which apparently, none can consider to be valid. If stifling the voices of women can be justified under the name of censorship, the very idea of it is threatening and must not be entertained.

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Udta Punjab was also in limelight for the 94 cuts that CBFC demanded in the film, some of which included removal of the names of Punjab cities, the name of the state itself and the name of a dog which was called Jacky chain. There are many other films where the grounds on which the Censor board asked the filmmakers to cut scenes are unacceptable and sometimes plain hilarious. “Phillauri” makers were asked to mute Hanuman Chalisa as it failed to shoo the ghosts off.

The argument that the supporters of censorship usually give is that it is only in a perfect world, where children wouldn’t be exposed to films inappropriate for their age, where every person recognizes the boundary between film and reality, would censorship not be necessary; but the fact is that we don’t live in a perfect world. Censorship, as they call it, is just the step to protect the vulnerable in the society.

The people against censorship, however, shrug this idea off, and do not hesitate to call censorship in India, an incentive for the people in power to stay in power.

In principle, government holds a responsibility to make the art accessible to whoever is interested. However, with a country as diverse as ours, both absolute freedom and strict censorship could be problematic. The heterogeneity of citizens suggests the varying needs, sensibilities, attitudes and therefore, one needs to strike a balance.

-Prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter: goel_samiksha

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Indian Frontline Employees Don’t Feel Connected: Facebook Report

Frontline workers remain isolated in India,says a Facebook report

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Employees
A report titled "Deskless Not Voiceless" by Workplace from Facebook revealed Frontline employees remain isolated in India. Pixabay

One in four frontline employees in India don’t feel connected to their head office and three in four such staffers are miles away from reaching out to the executive class, a “Workplace from Facebook” report said on Thursday.

The report titled “Deskless Not Voiceless” by Workplace, an enterprise connectivity platform developed by Facebook, looked at disconnect between how Indian frontline workers communicate and collaborate with their counterparts in a company’s headquarters.

The study, which surveyed more than 1,200 business leaders and frontline employees in Indian businesses with more than 100 employees, concluded that there is a gap between how managers and frontline staffs communicate and get work done.

Nearly all (95 per cent) of frontline employees said their company has internal communication barriers and they lack the tools, means and context to share new ideas with their employers.

Frontline workers say one of the biggest barriers (60 per cent) to sharing ideas internally is that they must report everything through their immediate manager.

Yet many of them don’t have email, and only half (53 per cent) have access to real-time digital collaboration tools. In turn, 76 per cent still rely on formal conversation to communicate, the findings showed.

“The research found that there is a communication failure between managers and frontline workers in India, which is leading to feelings of isolation and disengagement, stifling innovation and creativity,” said Luke McNeal, Director, APAC, Workplace.

Deskless employees
Deskless employees told Facebook that they struggle to feel connected to head office and company leaders. Pixabay

“Deskless employees told us that they struggle to feel connected to head office and company leaders, that there are barriers to communicating internally without the means, context, and tools needed to reach decision makers. And that they don’t feel empowered to share new ideas,” he added.

While 61 per cent of business leaders say they see the value of nurturing frontline employees’ thoughts and ideas, 95 per cent say they see the overall value that frontline workers bring to a business.

However, just 66 per cent have actually visited their frontline workers in the past year. The gap is even more pronounced in industries such as architecture.

Nearly all (98 per cent) of Indian frontline employees say they’ve had an idea to better their company, but more than a quarter (27 per cent) say those ideas are lost internally.

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“This disconnect is inhibiting growth. To combat this, businesses must focus on engaging with their entire workforce, especially those who don’t sit in HQ,” said McNeal.

Almost all frontline employees (99 per cent) agree that ideas should come from all levels of the business, yet just 35 per cent see ideas bubbling up from the frontline, said the report. (IANS)