Screening of ‘Da Vinci Code’ stayed
New Delhi, May 16,2006
The release of the controversial film “Da Vinci Code”, based on Dan Brown’s bestseller, has been withheld by the Information and Broadcasting ministry following protests from a large number of Christian organisations who have demanded a ban on the movie. It was slated for release this Friday.

It will now be cleared for screening only after Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunshi personally satisfies himself that there is nothing objectionable in the movie.

Mr. Dasmunshi, who had a meeting with his ministry officials and the Censor Board representatives in this connection, later told presspersons said that he would watch the film tomorrow along with representatives of the Catholic Church and Censor Board officials and take a final view on it “very shortly”. The Minister said he would be guided by the opinion of the representatives of the Catholic Church.

Justifying the government’s cautious approach, the Minister charged that some “elements were trying to ignite trouble”, adding that as Minister he had a responsibility to ensure that such matters did not get out of hand. Mr Dasmunshi said he had received representations from as many 290 Christian organisations who had requested him that he personally see the film before taking any decision in the case.

The Minister maintained he could not ignore such a large number of representations, adding, ‘‘It is my duty to cross check the facts before allowing the screening.” Denying that the government was playing the role of a “super censor”, Mr. Dasmunshi cited the recent case of “Rang De Basanti” which was viewed by the government and Censor Board officials at least five times after objections were raised about certain aspects of the film. It was eventually cleared for screening.

He also gave the example of Anand Patwardhan’s award-winning documentary “War and Peace” which was cleared only after he personally viewed it and directed Doordarshan to screen it.


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The release of the controversial film “Da Vinci Code”, based on Dan Brown’s bestseller, has been withheld by the Information and