Censorship in India

From Dharmapedia Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In general, censorship in India, which involves the suppression of speech or other public communication, raises issues of freedom of speech, which is protected by the Indian constitution.

The Constitution of India guarantees freedom of expression but places certain restrictions on content, with a view towards maintaining communal and religious harmony, given the history of communal tension in the nation.[1] According to the Information Technology Rules 2011, objectionable content includes anything that “threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states or public order".[2]

In 2017, the Freedom in the World report by Freedom House gave India a freedom rating of 2.5, a civil liberties rating of 3, and a political rights rating of 2, earning it the designation of free. The rating scale runs from 1 (most free) to 7 (least free).[3] Analysts from Reporters Without Borders rank India 133rd in the world in their 2016 Press Freedom Index,[4] In 2016, the report Freedom of the Press by Freedom House gave India a press freedom rating of "Partly Free", with a Press Freedom Score of 41 (0-100 scale, lower is better).[5]



Watching or possessing pornographic materials is apparently legal, however distribution of such materials is strictly banned.[6] The Central Board of Film Certification allows release of certain films with sexual content (labelled A-rated), which are to be shown only in restricted spaces and to be viewed only by people of age 18 and above.[7] India's public television broadcaster, Doordarshan, has aired these films at late-night timeslots.[8] Films, television shows and music videos are prone to scene cuts or even bans, however if any literature is banned, it is not usually for pornographic reasons. Pornographic magazines are technically illegal, but many softcore Indian publications are available through many news vendors, who often stock them at the bottom of a stack of non-pornographic magazines, and make them available on request. Most non-Indian publications (including Playboy) are usually harder to find, whether softcore or hardcore. Mailing pornographic magazines to India from a country where they are legal is also illegal in India. In practice, the magazines are almost always confiscated by Customs and entered as evidence of law-breaking, which then undergoes detailed scrutiny.

National security[edit]

The Official Secrets Act 1923 is used for the protection of official information, mainly related to national security.[9]

Censorship by medium[edit]


The Indian Press currently enjoys extensive freedom. The Freedom Of Speech, mandated by the constitution guarantees and safeguards the freedom of press. However, the freedom of press was not always as robust as today.[citation needed] In 1975, the Indira Gandhi government imposed censorship of press during The Emergency. It was removed at the end of emergency rule in March 1977.[10] On 26 June 1975, the day after the emergency was imposed, the Bombay edition of The Times of India in its obituary column carried an entry that read, "D.E.M O'Cracy beloved husband of T.Ruth, father of L.I.Bertie, brother of Faith, Hope and Justica expired on 26 June".[11] In 1988 ‘defamation bill’ introduced by Rajiv Gandhi but it was later withdrawn due to strong opposition to it .[12]

On 2 October 2016 (see: 2016 Kashmir unrest) the Srinagar-based Kashmiri newspaper, Kashmir Reader was asked to stop production by the Jammu and Kashmir government. The ban order, issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar Farooq Ahmad Lone cited that the reason for this was that the newspaper contains “material and content which tends to incite acts of violence and disturb public peace and tranquility”[13] The ban came after weeks of unrest in the Kashmir valley, following the killing of the militant Burhan Wani. Journalists have decried this as a clampdown on freedom of expression and democracy in Kashmir, as a part of the massive media censorship of the unrest undertaken by the central government. Working journalists protested the ban by marching to the Directorate of Information and Public Relations while the Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) held an emergency meeting in Srinagar, thereafter asking the government to revoke the ban immediately, and asking for the intervention of the Press Council of India.[13] The move has been criticised by a variety of individuals, academic and civil groups in Kashmir and international rights groups, such as Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society [archive] (JKCCS), Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), the Kashmir Center for Social and Developmental Studies (KCSDS) and Amnesty International, among others. Most of the major Kashmiri dailies have also rallied behind the KR, while claiming that the move represented a political vendetta against the newspaper for reporting events in the unrest as they happened on the ground. Hurriyat leaders, known to champion the cause of Kashmiri independence, also recorded their protests against the banning of the newspaper. Amnesty International released a statement saying that "the government has a duty to respect the freedom of the press, and the right of people to receive information,"[14] while criticising the government for shutting down a newspaper for opposing it. The journalists associated with the paper allege that, contrary to the claims of the J&K government, they had not been issued a notice or warning, and had been asked to stop production suddenly, which was only one manifestation of the wider media gag on Kashmir. Previously, the state government had banned newspapers for a few days in July, calling the move a “temporary measure to address an extra-ordinary situation”,[13] only to deflect the blame onto the police upon facing tremendous backlash, and thereafter asking the presses to resume publication. As of October 5, 2016, the ban has not been revoked and local journalists continue to protest against what they see as a breach of the freedom of the press and freedom of speech in Kashmir, with no official meeting forthcoming with government functionaries.


The Supreme Court while delivering judgement in Sportsworld case in 2014 held that "A picture of a nude/semi-nude woman ... cannot per se be called obscene".[12]


The Central Board of Film Certification, the regulatory film body of India, regularly orders directors to remove anything it deems offensive, including sex, nudity, violence or subjects considered politically subversive.[15]

According to the Supreme Court of India:[16]

In 2002, the film War and Peace, depicting scenes of nuclear testing and the September 11, 2001 attacks, created by Anand Patwardhan, was asked to make 21 cuts before it was allowed to have the certificate for release.[17][18] Patwardhan objected, saying "The cuts that they asked for are so ridiculous that they won't hold up in court" and "But if these cuts do make it, it will be the end of freedom of expression in the Indian media." The court decreed the cuts unconstitutional and the film was shown uncut.

In 2002, the Indian filmmaker and former chief of the country's film censor board, Vijay Anand, kicked up a controversy with a proposal to legalise the exhibition of X-rated films in selected cinemas across the country, saying "Porn is shown everywhere in India clandestinely ... and the best way to fight this onslaught of blue movies is to show them openly in theatres with legally authorised licences".[15] He resigned within a year after taking charge of the censor board after facing widespread criticism of his moves.[19]

In 2003, the Indian Censor Board banned the film Gulabi Aaina (The Pink Mirror), a film on Indian transsexuals produced and directed by Sridhar Rangayan. The censor board cited that the film was "vulgar and offensive". The filmmaker appealed twice again unsuccessfully. The film still remains banned in India, but has screened at numerous festivals all over the world and won awards. The critics have applauded it for its "sensitive and touching portrayal of marginalised community".[20][21][22]

In 2004, the documentary Final Solution, which looks at religious rioting between Hindus and Muslims, was banned.[23][24] The film follows 2002 clashes in the western state of Gujarat, which left more than 1,000 people dead. The censor board justified the ban, saying it was "highly provocative and may trigger off unrest and communal violence". The ban was lifted in October 2004 after a sustained campaign.[25]

In 2006, seven states (Nagaland, Punjab, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh) have banned the release or exhibition of the Hollywood movie The Da Vinci Code (and also the book),[26] although India's Central Board of Film Certification cleared the film for adult viewing throughout India.[27] However, the respective high courts lifted the ban and the movie was shown in the two states.

In 2013, Kamal Haasan's "Vishwaroopam" was banned from the screening for a period of two weeks in Tamil Nadu.[12]

The Central Board of Film Certification demanded five cuts from the 2011 American film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because of some scenes containing rape and nudity. The producers and the director David Fincher finally decided not to release the film in India.[28]

In 2015, the Central Board of Film Certification demanded four cuts (three visual and one audio) from the art-house Malayalam feature film Chaayam Poosiya Veedu (The Painted House) directed by brothers Santosh Babusenan and Satish Babusenan because the film contained scenes where the female lead was shown in the nude. The directors refused to make any changes whatsoever to the film and hence the film was denied a certificate.[29][30][31][32][33]

In 2016, the film Udta Punjab, produced by Anurag Kashyap and Ekta Kapoor among others, ran into trouble with the Central Board of Film Certification, resulting in a very public re-examination of the ethics of film censorship in India. The film, which depicted a structural drug problem in the state of Punjab, used a lot of expletives and showed scenes of drug use. The CBFC, on 9 June 2016, released a list of 94 cuts and 13 pointers, including the deletion of names of cities in Punjab. On 13 June 2016, Udta Punjab was cleared by the Bombay High Court with one cut and disclaimers. The court ruled that, contrary to the claims of the CBFC, the film was not out to "malign" the state of Punjab, and that it “wants to save people”[34] Thereafter, the film was faced with further controversy when a print of it was leaked online on a torrent site. The quality of the copy, along with the fact that there was supposedly a watermark that said "censor" on top of the screen, raised suspicions that the board itself had leaked the copy to spite the filmmakers. It also contained the only scene that had been cut according to the High Court order. While the censor board claimed innocence,[35] the lingering suspicions resulted in a tense release, with the filmmakers and countless freedom of expression advocates taking to social media to appeal to the public to watch the film in theatres, as a conscious challenge against excessive censorship on art in India. Kashyap himself asked viewers to wait till the film released before they downloaded it for free, stating that he didn't have a problem with illegal downloads,[36] an unusual thing for a film producer to say. The film eventually released and grossed over $13 million[37] finishing as a commercial success.


Heavy metal band Slayer's 2006 album Christ Illusion was banned in India after Catholic churches in the country took offence to the artwork of the album and a few song titles and launched a protest against it. The album was taken off shelves and the remaining catalog was burnt by EMI Music India.[38]


In 1999, Maharashtra government banned the Marathi play Me Nathuram Godse Boltoy or I, Nathuram Godse, Am Speaking[39] The Notification was challenged before the Bombay High Court, and the High Court Bench consisting of B. P. Singh (Chief Justice), S. Radhakrishnan, and Dr. D. Y. Chandrachud allowed the writ petition and declared the notification to be ultra vires and illegal, thus rescinding the ban.

In 2004, Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues was banned in Chennai. The play however, has played successfully in many other parts of the country since 2003. A Hindi version of the play has been performing since 2007.


In 1961, it was criminalised in India to question the territorial integrity of frontiers of India in a manner which is, or is likely to be, prejudicial to the interests of the safety or security of India.[40]


Lua error in Module:Hatnote_list at line 44: attempt to call field 'formatPages' (a nil value).

  • 1989, The import[41] of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses was banned in India for its purported attacks on Islam.[42] India was the second country in the world (after Singapore) to ban the book.
  • 1990, Understanding Islam through Hadis by Ram Swarup was banned.[43] In 1990 the Hindi translation of the book was banned, and in March 1991 the English original became banned as well.[44]
  • The book Shivaji by Queen's University professor Jayant Lele about the 17th century Indian warrior king Shivaji Bhosale was banned because the book raised a question about Shivaji's father.[45]
  • Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India by American scholar James Laine was banned in 2004.[45][46]
  • Laine's translation of the 300-year-old poem Sivabharata, entitled The Epic of Shivaji, was banned in January 2006.[45] The ban followed an attack by Sambhaji Brigade activists on the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune. The subsequent governments have not revoked the ban.[47]
  • In Punjab the Bhavsagar Granth (Bhavsagar Samunder Amrit Vani Granth), a 2,704 page religious treatise was banned by the state government in 2001,[48] following clashes between mainstream Sikhs and the apostate Sikh sect that produced it. It was said[who?] that the granth had copied a number of portions from the Guru Granth Sahib. In one of the photographs it showed Baba Bhaniara, wearing a shining coat and headdress in a style similar to that made familiar through the popular posters of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru of the Sikhs. In another Baba Bhaniara is shown riding a horse in the manner of Guru Gobind Singh. The ban was lifted in November 2008.[49]
  • The Polyester Prince,[50] a biography of the Indian businessman Dhirubhai Ambani was banned.[51]
  • Importing the book The True Furqan (al-Furqan al-Haqq) by Al Saffee and Al Mahdee into India has been prohibited since September 2005.[52]
  • R.V. Bhasin's Islam - A Concept of Political World Invasion by Muslims was banned in Maharashtra in 2007 during the tenure of Vilasrao Deshmukh (ex Chief Minister, Maharashtra) on grounds that it promotes communal disharmony between Hindus and Muslims.[53][54][55]


Lua error in Module:Hatnote_list at line 44: attempt to call field 'formatPages' (a nil value). Freedom House's Freedom on the Net 2015 report gives India a Freedom on the Net Status of "Partly Free" with a rating of 40 (scale from 0 to 100, lower is better). Its Obstacles to Access was rated 12 (0-25 scale), Limits on Content was rated 10 (0-35 scale) and Violations of User Rights was rated 18 (0-40 scale).[56] India was ranked 29th out of the 65 countries included in the 2015 report.[57]

The India country report that is included in the Freedom on the Net 2012 report, says:[58]

  • India's overall Internet Freedom Status is "Partly Free", unchanged from 2009.
  • India has a score of 39 on a scale from 0 (most free) to 100 (least free), which places India 20 out of the 47 countries worldwide that were included in the 2012 report. India ranked 14 out of 37 countries in the 2011 report.
  • India ranks third out of the eleven countries in Asia included in the 2012 report.
  • Prior to 2008, censorship of Internet content by the Indian government was relatively rare and sporadic.
  • Following the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which killed 171 people, the Indian Parliament passed amendments to the Information Technology Act (ITA) that expanded the government's censorship and monitoring capabilities.
  • While there is no sustained government policy or strategy to block access to Internet content on a large scale, measures for removing certain content from the web, sometimes for fear they could incite violence, have become more common.
  • Pressure on private companies to remove information that is perceived to endanger public order or national security has increased since late 2009, with the implementation of the amended ITA. Companies are required to have designated employees to receive government blocking requests, and assigns up to seven years' imprisonment private service providers—including ISPs, search engines, and cybercafes—that do not comply with the government's blocking requests.
  • Internet users have sporadically faced prosecution for online postings, and private companies hosting the content are obliged by law to hand over user information to the authorities.
  • In 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that bloggers and moderators can face libel suits and even criminal prosecution for comments posted on their websites.
  • Prior judicial approval for communications interception is not required and both central and state governments have the power to issue directives on interception, monitoring, and decryption. All licensed ISPs are obliged by law to sign an agreement that allows Indian government authorities to access user data.

India is classified as engaged in "selective" Internet filtering in the conflict/security and Internet tools areas and as showing "no evidence" of filtering in the political and social areas by the OpenNet Initiative in May 2007.[59] ONI states that:

As a stable democracy with strong protections for press freedom, India’s experiments with Internet filtering have been brought into the fold of public discourse. The selective censorship of Web sites and blogs since 2003, made even more disjointed by the non-uniform responses of Internet service providers (ISPs), has inspired a clamour of opposition. Clearly government regulation and implementation of filtering are still evolving. … Amidst widespread speculation in the media and blogosphere about the state of filtering in India, the sites actually blocked indicate that while the filtering system in place yields inconsistent results, it nevertheless continues to be aligned with and driven by government efforts. Government attempts at filtering have not been entirely effective, as blocked content has quickly migrated to other Web sites and users have found ways to circumvent filtering. The government has also been criticised for a poor understanding of the technical feasibility of censorship and for haphazardly choosing which Web sites to block. The amended IT Act, absolving intermediaries from being responsible for third-party created content, could signal stronger government monitoring in the future.[59]

A "Transparency Report" from Google indicates that the Government of India initiated 67 content removal requests between July and December 2010.[60]

See also[edit]


The Press Council condemned the pre- publication of some excerpts as “an aberration from the path of ethical rectitude”.(Elst 2001, Decolonizing the Hindu Mind, p. 34)

FEO Thereby they have succeeded in getting books, articles and films banned by invoking Sections 153 and 295 of the Indian Penal Code and similar provisions of the Indian Customs Act.

11. In the case reported as 1983 CrLJ 1446, the matter for consideration before the court was whether the two articles published in the Marathi Weekly known as 'SHREE' were containing objectionable material so as to attract Section 153A IPC. In these two articles the author tried to show that in pre-Islamic times, the ancient Indian culture and Hindu religion were in vogue in Arabia and that the Islamic religion, culture and art were greatly influenced by the Indian culture and religion. Their Lordships after going through the articles found nothing objectionable and held that:-

It is true that sometimes in a given case even a truthful account may come within the mischief of S-153A of the Penal Code. But, this will be too broad a proposition. Different considerations will prevail when we are to consider a scholarly article on history and religion based upon research with the help of a number of reference books. It will be very difficult for the State to contend that a narration of history would promote violence, enmity or hatred. If such a contention is accepted a day will come when that part of history which is unpalatable to a particular religion will have to be kept in cold storage on the pretext that the publication of such history would constitute an offence punishable under Sec. 153A of the Penal Code. The scope of S-153A cannot be enlarged to such an extent with a view to thwart history. For obvious reasons, history and historical events cannot be allowed to be looked as a secret on a specious plea that if the history is made known to a person who is interested to know the history, there is likelihood of someone else being hurt. Similarly, an article containing a historical research cannot be allowed to be thwarted on such a plea that the publication of such a material would be hit by S. 153A. Otherwise, the position will be very precarious. A nation will have to forget its own history and in due course the nation will have no history at all. This result cannot be said to have been intended by the Legislature when S. 153A. of the Penal Code and S. 95 of the CRPC were enacted. If anybody intends to extinguish the history (by prohibiting its publication) of the nation on the pretext of taking action under the above sections, his act will have to be treated as malafide one.

  • Every ban and censorship hurt. But banishment hurts the most. Banishment took away the ground from beneath my feet. What I need now most is a firm footing to stand up somewhere to fight for the freedom of expression. I was banished from both East and West Bengal.
  • Many of my books are banned in Bangladesh. My book was banned in West Bengal too. Its government not only banned my book, it forced me to leave the state too. The new government ban­ned the release of my book Nir­basan in 2012 and a few months ago forced a TV channel called Akash Ath to stop telecast of a mega serial I wrote. The serial was about women’s struggle and how three sisters living in Calcutta fight aga­inst patriarchal oppression to live their lives with dignity and honour. She (Mamata Banerjee) ban­ned me to app­ease some misogynist mullahs.
  • A consequence of the negationist orientation of the Indian state's religious policy, is the readiness to ban books critical of Islam at the slightest suggestion by some mullah or Muslim politician. It is symptomatic that India was the first country to ban Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, at the insistence of Syed Shahabuddin, MP (in exchange, with some other concessions, for his calling off a march on Ayodhya).
    • Elst, Koenraad. Negationism in India: concealing the record of Islam. 1992
  • Muslim leaders and Stalinist historians were raising a howl about Hindu chauvinism when it came to the notice of Arun Shourie, the Chief Editor of the Indian Express at that time, that some significant passages had been omitted from the English translation of an Urdu book written long ago by the father of Ali Mian, the famous Muslim theologian from Lucknow. He wrote an article, Hideaway Communalism [archive], in the Indian Express of February 5, 1989 pointing out how the passages regarding destruction of Hindu temples and building of mosques on their sites at Delhi, Jaunpur, Kanauj, Etawah, Ayodhya, Varanasi and Mathura had been dropped from the English translation published by Ali Mian himself. This was a new and dramatic departure from the norm observed so far by the prestigious press. Publishing anything which said that Islam was less than sublime had been taboo for a long time. I was pleasantly surprised, and named Arun Shourie as the Gorbachev of India. He had thrown open the windows and let in fresh breeze in a house full of the stinking garbage of stale slogans.
    • Goel, S.R. How I became a Hindu (1993, revised ed.)
  • It was not long before I was visited by officers of the Crimes Department, and not only from Delhi. I was accused of causing communal discord, and threatening the peace of the land. I was arrested, and ordered to seek bail.... I had been arrested in the classic case of Ram Swarup's documented study, "Understanding Islam through Hadis: Religious Faith or Fanaticism?"... There had been loud talk in the book market at Delhi that this book was going to be banned... The Delhi Administration issued a notification in November, 1991, stating that the Hindi translation will stand banned whenever it is published. In March 1992, the same Administration banned the English original also.
    • Goel, S.R., How I became a Hindu (1982)
  • Conversely, banning this book [Hindu View of Christianity and Islam by Ram Swarup] would send a signal that the present establishment will do what it can to prevent Hinduism from rising up, from regaining self-confidence, from facing the challenge of hostile ideologies.
    • Elst, K. In Freedom of expression - Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 81-85990-55-7
  • The problem of book-banning and censorship on Islam criticism is compounded by the related problem of self- censorship. Thus, when in late 1992, the famous columnist Arun Shourie wanted to publish a collection of his columns on Islamic fundamentalism, esp. the Rushdie and Ayodhya affairs (Indian Controversies), the publisher withdrew at the last moment, afraid of administrative or physical reprisals, and the printer also backed out. Earlier, Shourie had been lucky to find one paper willing to publish these columns, for most Indian newspapers strictly keep the lid on Islam criticism. Hindu society is a terrorized society.
    • Elst, Koenraad. Negationism in India: concealing the record of Islam. Voice of India. 1992
  • ...H.K. Srivastava, made a proposal to attack the problem of communal friction at what he apparently considered its roots. He wanted all press writing about the historical origins of temples and mosques to be banned. And it is true : the discussion of the origins of some mosques is fundamental to this whole issue. For, it reveals the actual workings of an ideology that, more than anything else, has caused countless violent confrontations between the religious communities. However, after the news of this proposal came, nothing was heard of it anymore. I surmise that the proposal was found to be juridically indefensible in that it effectively would prohibit history-writing, a recognized academic discipline of which journalism makes use routinely. And I surmise that it was judged politically undesirable because it would counterproductively draw attention to this explosive topic. The real target of this proposal was the book Hindu Temples : What Happened to Them (A Preliminary Survey) by Arun Shourie and others. In the same period, there has been a proposal in the Rajya Sabha by Congress MP Mrs. Aliya to get this book banned,... The really hard part of the book is a list of some two thousand Muslim buildings that have been built on places of previous Hindu worship (and for which many more than two thousand temples have been demolished). In spite of the threat of a ban on raking up this discussion, on November 18 the U.P. daily Pioneer has published a review of this book, by Vimal Yogi Tiwari,.... "History is not just an exercise in collection of facts though, of course, facts have to be carefully sifted and authenticated as Mr. Sita Ram Goel has done in this case. History is primarily an exercise in self-awareness and reinforcement of that self-awareness. Such a historical assessment has by and large been missing in our country. This at once gives special significance to this book."
    • Elst, K. Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society (1991)
  • In 1986, a book was published containing the court documents, with a scholarly introduction by Sita Ram Goel.... For this book [The Calcutta Quran Petition by S.R. Goel], the Calcutta police arrested Mr. Chandmal Chopra on August 31, 1987, accusing him of entering into a criminal conspiracy with Mr. Sita Ram Goel for publishing the book with the deliberate intention of provoking communal strife in Calcutta and West Bengal. His bail application was opposed vehemently by the public prosecutor. He was kept in police custody till September 8, so that the conspiracy could be "investigated without his coming in the way". Mr. Goel, "a co-accused still at large", applied for anticipatory bail. This was first postponed and then rejected. Mr. Goel had to abscond for a while to avoid being dragged to the Calcutta jail...
    • Koenraad Elst. Ayodhya and after: issues before Hindu society. 1991. Ch. 12.
  • In November 1990 there had been proposals in the national parliament and in the state parliament of Uttar Pradesh to ban this first volume of "Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them"... negationist historians will find it difficult to show their faces in public. They stand exposed, and only their control over the media can save their reputation by censoring this critique of their career-long efforts at history falsification.
    • Elst, Koenraad Negationism in India: concealing the record of Islam. 1992
  • Perhaps the most revealing story of a book banning concerns Ram Swarup's Understanding Islam through Hadis... And come December 1990, a third meeting of Delhi administration officials revoked the two earlier decisions, and issued a ban on the book.... Arun Shourie has commented : "The forfeiture is exactly the sort of thing which has landed us where we are : where intellectual inquiry is shut out ; where our tradition are not examined and reassessed and where as a consequence there is no dialogue."
    • Koenraad Elst. Ayodhya and after: issues before Hindu society. 1991. Ch. 12.
  • And funny though it may sound it was decided to falsify history to please the Muslims and draw them into the national mainstream. Guidelines for rewriting history were prepared by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), and a summary of the same appeared in Indian Express datelined New Delhi, 17 January 1982. The idea was 'to weed out undesirable textbooks (in History and languages) and remove matter which is prejudicial to national integration and unity and which does not promote social cohesion' Twenty states and three Union Territories have started the work of evaluation according to guidelines, prepared by NCERT.'
    The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education issued a notification dated 28 April 1989 addressed to schools and publishers suggesting some 'corrections' in the teaching and writing of 'Muslim rule in India' - like the real objective of Mahmud Ghaznavi's attack on Somnath, Aurangzeb's policy towards the Hindus, and so on. These guidelines specifically say: 'Muslim rule should not attract any criticism. Destruction of temples by Muslim invaders and rulers should not be mentioned.' One instruction in the West Bengal circular is that 'schools and publishers have been asked to ignore and delete mention of forcible conversions to Islam.' The notification, says the Statesman of 21 May 1989, was objected to in many quarters. 'A row has been kicked up by some academicians who feel that the 'corrections' are unjustified and politically motivated Another group feels that the corrections are 'justified'.....This experiment with untruth was being attempted since the 30's-40's by Muslim and Communist historians. .... History books are not written only in India; these are written in neighbouring countries also, and what is tried to be concealed here for the sake of national integration, is mentioned with pride in the neighbouring Muslim countries. Scholars in Europe are also working on Indian history and untruths uttered by India's secular and progressive historians are easily countered.
    • K.S. Lal, The Legacy of Muslim rule in India (also in K.S. Lal, Historical Essays)
  • And yet some writers delude themselves with the mistaken belief that they can change their country's history by distorting it, or brain-wash generations of young students, or humour fundamentalist politicians through such unethical exercise. To judge what happened in the past in the context of today's cultural milieu and consciously hide the truth, is playing politics with history. Let history be accepted as a matter of fact without putting it to any subjective interpretations. Yesterday's villains cannot be made today's heroes, or, inversely, yesterday's Islamic heroes cannot be made into robbers ransacking temples just for treasures. Nor can the medieval monuments be declared as national monuments as suggested in some naive 'secularist' quarters. They represent vandalism. No true Indian can be proud of such desecrated and indecorous evidence of 'composite culture'. 'History,' says Froude, 'does teach that right and wrong are real distinctions. Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral law is written on the tablets of humanity.' It is nobody's business to change this moral law and prove the wrongs of the medieval period to be right today by having recourse to misrepresentation of history. Manipulation in the writing of medieval Indian history by some modern writers is the worst legacy of Muslim rule in India.
    • K.S. Lal, The Legacy of Muslim rule in India (also in K.S. Lal, Historical Essays)
  • They rely on intimidation, It is exactly by tactics of this kind that an earlier book of Mr. Swarup - Understanding Islam Through Hadis - was put out of circulation... November 27, 1990, under the influence of the same intimidation the Delhi Administration declared that, contrary to what it had itself twice decreed, the book was not only objectionable, was deliberately and malicious so!....
    Our response should be three fold. First, whenever an attempt such as this from quarters such as Mr. Shahabuddin is made to stifle free speech, to kill even scholarly inquiry, we must go out of our way and immediately obtain the book....
    Secondly, whenever the intimidators prevail and such a book actually comes to be banned large numbers should take to reprinting it, photocopying it, to circulating it, and discussing its contents.
    The third thing is more necessary, and in the long run will be the complete answer to the intimidators. As long as scholars like Mr. Swarup are few, intimidators can bully weak governments into shutting them one by one. But what will they do if 1,000, scholars are to do work of the same order? This is the way to deal with intimidators. Let 1,000 scholars carry on work Mr. Swarup has pioneered.
    • Arun Shourie: " How should we respond?", also in: Freedom of expression – Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy (1998, edited by Sita Ram Goel)
  • The only voice which was heard against this nation-wide exercise in suppressio veri suggestio falsi in the field of medieval Indian history, was that of the veteran historian, R.C. Majumdar. For him, this “national integration” based on a wilful blindness to recorded history of the havoc wrought by Islam in India, could lead only to national suicide. He tried his best to arrest the trend by presenting Islamic imperialism in medieval India as it was, and not as the politicians in league with Stalinist and Muslim historians were tailoring it to become. “Political necessities of the Indians during the last phase of British rule,” he wrote in 1960, “underlined the importance of alliance between the two communities, and this was sought to be smoothly brought about by glossing over the differences and creating an imaginary history of the past in order to depict the relations between the two in a much more favourable light than it actually was. ....But history is no respecter of persons or communities, and must always strive to tell the truth, so far as it can be deduced from reliable evidence. This great academic principle has a bearing upon actual life, for ignorance seldom proves to be a real bliss either to an individual or to a nation. In the particular case under consideration, ignorance of the actual relation between the Hindus and the Muslims throughout the course of history - an ignorance deliberately encouraged by some - may ultimately be found to have been the most important single factor which led to the partition of India. The real and effective means of solving a problem is to know and understand the facts that gave rise to it, and not to ignore them by hiding the head, ostrich-like, into sands of fiction.”
    • R.C. Majumdar, quoted in Sita Ram Goel, The Calcutta Quran Petition (1986)
  • But his voice remained a voice in the wilderness. Fourteen years later, he [R.C. Majumdar] had to return to the theme and give specific instances of falsification. “It is very sad,” he observed, “that the spirit of perverting history to suit political views is no longer confined to politicians, but has definitely spread even among professional historians… It is painful to mention though impossible to ignore, the fact that there is a distinct and conscious attempt to rewrite the whole chapter of the bigotry and intolerance of the Muslim rulers towards Hindu religion. This was originally prompted by the political motive of bringing together the Hindus and Musalmans in a common fight against the British but has continued ever since. A history written under the auspices of the Indian National Congress sought to repudiate the charge that the Muslim rulers broke Hindu temples, and asserted that they were the most tolerant in matters of religion. Following in its footsteps, a noted historian has sought to exonerate Mahmud of Ghazni’s bigotry and fanaticism, and several writers in India have come forward to defend Aurangzeb against Jadunath Sarkar’s charge of religious intolerance. It is interesting to note that in the revised edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, one of them, while re-writing the article on Aurangzeb originally written by William Irvine, has expressed the view that the charge of breaking Hindu temples brought against Aurangzeb is a disputed point. Alas for poor Jadunath Sarkar, who must have turned in his grave if he were buried. For, after reading his History of Aurangzib, one would be tempted to ask, if the temple-breaking policy of Aurangzeb is a disputed point, is there a single fact in the whole recorded history of mankind which may be taken as undisputed?”
    • R.C. Majumdar, quoted in Sita Ram Goel, The Calcutta Quran Petition (1986)
  • In a word, no forcible conversions, no massacres, no destruction of temples. ... Muslim historians of those times are in raptures at the heap of Kafirs [sic] who have been dispatched to hell. Muslim historians are forever lavishing praise on the ruler for the temples he has destroyed, ... Law books like The Hedaya prescribe exactly the options to which these little textbooks alluded. All whitewashed away. Objective whitewash for objective history. And today if anyone seeks to restore truth to these textbooks, the shout, "Communal rewriting of history."
    • Arun Shourie - Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud
  • How does this concern square with the guidelines issued by their West Bengal government... - "Muslim rule should never atttact any criticism. Destruction of temples by Muslim rulers and invaders should not be mentioned?
    • Arun Shourie - Eminent Historians: Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud
  • This caravan loaded with synthetic merchandise has, however, continued to move forward. Eight years later (1982), it was reported that “History and Language textbooks for schools all over India will soon be revised radically. In collaboration with various state governments the Ministry of Education has begun a phased programme to weed out undesirable textbooks and remove matter which is prejudicial to national integration and unity and which does not promote social cohesion.
    • Sita Ram Goel, The Calcutta Quran Petition (1986)
  • The whole tenor of this tendentious scheme for "national integration" becomes fully explicit in the following fiat from the Ministry of Education: “Characterisation of the medieval period as a dark period or as a time of conflict between Hindus and Muslims is forbidden. Historians cannot identify Muslims as rulers and Hindus as subjects. The state cannot be described as a theocracy, without examining the actual influence of religion. No exaggeration of the role of religion in political conflicts is permitted… Nor should there be neglect and omission of trends and processes of assimilation and synthesis.”
    • Sita Ram Goel, The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India (1994)
  • My heart sinks at the very idea of such a sinister scheme being sponsored by an educational agency set up by the government of a democratic country. It is an insidious attempt at thought-control and brainwashing. Having been a student of these processes in Communist countries, I have a strong suspicion that this document has also sprung from the same sort of mind. This mind has presided for long over the University Grants Commission and other educational institutions, and has been aided and abetted by the residues of Islamic imperialism masquerading as secularists....
    The only way which this ruling sees out of what it calls “the communal strife” is that Hindu history should be substantially diluted and tailored to the needs of Islamic imperialism, and that Muslim history should be given a liberal coat of whitewash or even made to pass muster as national history. This has been the main plank in the platform for “national integration”. Hitherto this Experiment with Untruth was confined mainly to Muslim and Communist “historians” who have come to control the Indian History Congress, the Indian Council of Historical Research, and even the University Grants Commission. Now it has been taken up by the National Integration Council. The Ministry of Education of the Government of India has directed the education departments in the States to extend this experiment to school-level text-books of history. And this perverse programme of suppressing truth and spreading falsehood is being sponsored by a state which inscribes Satyameva Jayate on its emblem....
    But that is about all that can be said in commendation of the scheme sanctioned by the National Integration Council and sponsored by the Ministry of Education. The rest is recommendations for telling lies to our children, or for not telling to them the truth at all.
    • Sita Ram Goel, The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India (1994)


<templatestyles src="Reflist/styles.css" />

  1. "The Constitution of India [archive]" "658.79 KiB". Missing or empty |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>658.79 KiB, India Code. Retrieved 3 June 2006.
  2. "Uncle dictates, cyber boys dispose - Sibal to work on norms for social sites" [archive]. The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. 7 December 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "India - Country report - Freedom in the World 2017" [archive]. Freedom House. Retrieved 3 February 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Press Freedom Index 2016" [archive]. Reporters without borders. Retrieved 2016-05-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/freedom-press-2016 [archive]
  6. Rajak, Brajesh (2011). Pornography Laws: XXX Must not be Tolerated (paperback ed.). Delhi: Universal Law Co. p. 61. ISBN 978-81-7534-999-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Viju B; Bharati Dubey (2009-12-31). "Family entertainment? B-town flicks now open to adults only" [archive]. Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 2010-05-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Sinhā, Niroja (1989). Women and Violence [archive]. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House. p. 97 [archive]. ISBN 0706942736. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />OCLC 19812282 [archive]. "Assuming that late night programme telecast would be restricted to adults, Doordarshan started showing adult films in recent past on TV."
  9. "The Official Secrets Act, 1923 [archive]", IndiaLawInfo.com. Retrieved 4 June 2006
  10. The Emergency, Censorship, and the Press in India, 1975-77 [archive], Soli J. Sorabjee, Central News Agency, 1977. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  11. Austin, Granville (1999). Working a democratic constitution: the Indian experience [archive]. Oxford University Press. p. 295. ISBN 0-19-564888-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 A.S. Panneerselvan (17 February 2014). "Process as punishment" [archive]. The Hindu. Retrieved 18 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "Valley journalists protest against ban on Kashmir Reader" [archive]. 2016-10-04. Retrieved 2016-10-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Kashmir newspaper ban criticised" [archive]. BBC News. 2016-10-05. Retrieved 2016-10-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 "India's film censor wants to legalise porn [archive]", BBC News, 27 June 2002. Retrieved 29 May 2006.
  16. "Background" [archive]. Central Board of Film Certification. Retrieved 9 January 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "India cuts 'anti-war' film [archive]", BBC News, 19 August 2002. Retrieved 29 May 2006.
  18. "Censorship and Indian Cinema [archive]", Shammi Nanda, Bright Lights Film Journal, Issue 38 (November 2002). Retrieved 29 May 2006.
  19. "BIndia's chief film censor quits [archive]", BBC News, 22 July 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2006.
  20. "UK premiere for Indian drag film" [archive], Neil Smith, BBC News, 6 May 2004. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  21. "Making the Cuts—On Film Censorship in India" [archive], Shradha Sukumaran, YAMAGATA Documentary Film (YIDFF), 10 October 2003. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  22. "Banned, banned and banned again!" [archive], Carmen de Monteflores, Queer India, 19 May 2006. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  23. "India bans religious riot movie [archive]", BBC News, 6 August 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2006.
  24. "Censor Board Bans 'Final Solution' [archive]", Kalpana Sharma, Countercurrents.org [archive] Archived [archive] 28 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine., 6 August 2004. Retrieved 29 May 2006.
  25. "Final Solution" [archive], Rakesh Sharma (director), 2004. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  26. "India extends Da Vinci Code ban [archive]", BBC News, 3 June 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2006.
  27. "India censors clear Da Vinci Code [archive]", BBC News, 18 May 2006. Retrieved 29 May 2006.
  28. Ramachandran, Naman (27 January 2012). "Sony cancels 'Dragon Tattoo's' Indian release" [archive]. Variety. Retrieved 28 January 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Praveen, S.R. (31 August 2015). "Directors out against CBFC directives" [archive] (Thiruvananthapuram). The Hindu. Retrieved 31 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "Film denied certificate for depicting nudity" [archive] (Kochi). The Times of India. Times News Network. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "Infringement on Artistic Expression Flayed" [archive] (Thiruvananthapuram). The New Indian Express. ENS. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "Producers of film refuse censor cuts" (Thiruvananthapuram). Deccan Chronicle. 25 August 2015. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. Ayyappan, R (26 August 2015). "Exposed: Censors' Obsolete Norms" (Thiruvananthapuram). Deccan Chronicle. DC. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "Udta Punjab not made to malign state: Bombay HC" [archive]. 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2016-10-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. "'Udta Punjab' leak: CBFC claims innocence as all fingers point at them | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis" [archive]. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2016-10-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. "Udta Punjab leaked: Kashyap asks downloaders to wait till Saturday" [archive]. 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2016-10-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  37. Chaubey, Abhishek (2016-06-17), Udta Punjab [archive], retrieved 2016-10-05<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. "'Offensive' album pulled in India" [archive]. BBC.co.uk. BBC. 11 October 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  39. "Gandhi play banned" [archive]. BBC News. 18 July 1998. Retrieved 28 April 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  40. The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1961 [archive], Vakilno1.com
  41. Manoj Mitta (25 January 2012). "Reading 'Satanic Verses' legal" [archive]. The Times Of India. Retrieved 24 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  42. "Rushdie 'hurt' by India ban [archive]", BBC News, 10 October 1998. Retrieved 29 May 2006.
  43. "Publish and be banned" [archive], The Telegraph (Calcutta), 18 July 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  44. "Top 10 Books those Banned in India" [archive], Hindustan Today. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 "Hypocrisy in the guise of freedom of expression" [archive], M. Zajam, TwoCircles, 28 May 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  46. "The Laine Controversy and the Study of Hinduism" [archive], Christian Lee Novetzki, International Journal of Hindu Studies (World Heritage Press), Volume 8, Issue 1-3 (2004), pages 183-201, ISSN 1022-4556, DOI 10.1007/s11407-004-0008-9. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  47. "History epic on Shivaji banned in India" [archive] Archived [archive] 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine., Basharat Peer, Dawn, 22 January 2006. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  48. "Caste and Religion in Punjab" [archive]. Economic and Political Weekly. 26 May 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (subscription required)
  49. A godman and a political storm" [archive], Praveen Swami, Frontline (published by The Hindu), Volume 18, Issue 22 (October/November 2001). Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  50. The Polyester Prince: The Rise of Dhirubhai Ambani [archive], Hamish McDonald, Allen & Unwin, 1998, 273 pages, ISBN 1-86448-468-3.
  51. "Ban the Ban: The republic of India bans books with a depressing frequency" [archive], Rramachandra Guha, The Telegraph (Calcutta), 30 July 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  52. "Notification No. 78 /2005-Customs (N.T.)" [archive], Anupam Prakash, Under Secretary to the Government of India, 7 September 2005. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  53. "Book on Islam banned, author's house raided in Mumbai" [archive], Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, 7 April 2007. Retrieved on 9 May 2010.
  54. Criminal Application No.1421 of 2007 [archive]. The High Court of Judicature at Bombay. 6 January 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  55. Islam, a concept of political world invasion by Muslims [archive], R.V. Bhasin, National Publications (Mumbai), 166 pages, 2003. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  56. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/2015/india [archive]
  57. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net-2015/table-country-scores [archive]
  58. "India Country Report" [archive], Freedom on the Net 2012, Freedom House. Retrieved 25 September 2012
  59. 59.0 59.1 "ONI Country Profile: India" [archive], OpenNet Initiative, 9 May 2007
  60. India asked Google to block content critical of government [archive] The Hindu - 29 June 2011

External links[edit]

https://www.opindia.com/2020/02/sambhaji-aurangzeb-atrocities-marathi-tv-series-swarajya-rakshak-ban/ [archive]