Posters of Hindi film with anti-Christian contents removed after complaint

Published 16 November 2011  |  
The government regulatory body that is responsible for certifying films produced in India earlier this week responded to a complaint of a Mumbai-based Christian group that raised objections to the poster of a Hindi film that shows the picture of Jesus Christ on the cross being stabbed by a man.

The advertisement of the movie, "Who's There?" (Kaun Hain Waha), which shows a man stabbing Jesus Christ under the caption – "This Time Evil Will Win", appeared on several dailies despite it not being cleared by the Publicity Clearing agency (IMPPA).

The Catholic Secular Forum took up the issue and complained to the Censor Board about the movie's anti-Christian contents, saying it had deeply hurt the Christian community's religious sentiments.

"Such irresponsible films are not only highly provocative and blasphemous, but will also give a bad image to India in the international community, where it has a fair name. Is the Christian God to be used to sell a movie for the producers to reap commercial profit?" queried the CSF chief Joseph Dias.

"Action needs to be taken, as such advertisements and movies damage the secular fabric of the country and disturb communal harmony," Dias said. "This is the worst of its kind of representation on Christianity."

The advertisements, one of which has the caption "Expect the Unexpected Truth", does not carry the certification (U/A) which is a cognizable and non-bailable offence under section 7 of Cinematograph Act 1952.

After the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) took note of the complaint and found out that the advertisements were unauthorised, it directed the producer of the movie to tender an apology and withdraw the offensive advertisements unconditionally.

The CBFC has also brought the matter to the notice of the Home Minister of Maharashtra, for taking appropriate action against the producer for unlawful exhibition of the poster.

In a letter to the Censor Board of Film Certification Mumbai, the producer, Wasim Shaikh said the team was "taking back the said design from all newspapers and streets".

The film, which is scheduled for release on November 18, has been rated "A" and has been categorized as a Horror film. The movie is directed by Ejaz Ahmed under the banner True Dreams.

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