The Film Times of India Doesn’t Want You To See

World Before Her

 

Once Shiv Sena goons attacked the offices of Times of India. Don’t remember for what reason and am sure even SS won’t remember now. But my first reaction (instead of sympathy for ToI) was – Now ToI editors would have to pay ToI bosses the ‘front-page fees’ to get this story on the cover.

Such is ToI’s reputation, India’s ‘oldest and number one newspaper’. They have no ideology, no lofty journalistic principles, just a bed-and-breakfast version of print-space where you pay for a day’s coverage.

But something happened today. It seems, they do have an ideology beyond money. They do, sometimes, feel the need to stifle arts for their comfort.

What

Times of India group black-listed ‘The World Before Her’, a documentary by Nisha Pahuja, from its review pages for all its publications. No review in ToI or Mirror, on web or in print.

Why

Because the film takes a critical look at the ‘beauty obsession’ culture promoted by Miss India Pageant, an event ToI group has a stake in. In a clip described as ‘chilling’ by (generally over-enthusiastic) scoopwhoop, Dr. Jamuna Pai is shown giving botox facelifts to 18-20 year old girls.

http://www.scoopwhoop.com/inothernews/miss-india-pageant/

 (The clip, again thanks to ToI’s clout, is missing from the internet.)

Censorship and Irony

A similar censorship by a right-wing owned publication would have resulted in a much bigger uproar and outrage. But since this is Times of India, everybody’s Maai-Baap-Dalaal, only muffled voices are being heard on the net.

(Since the film shows inner workings of a Durga Vahini camp too, am sure Viraat Hindus are quietly chuckling at ToI doing what they would have done or can still do.)

But what this move by ToI does achieve beautifully is that it demonstrates Nisha Pahuja’s thesis for the film. That at its worst, there is little difference between our orthodoxy and ‘modernism’, between Durga Vahini narrow-mindedness and Corporate fascism, between a Dinanath Batra and India’s leading newspaper.  Stifling free speech, brainwashing young minds, and turning humans into ‘factory products’ is the main motto of both our right-wing ideology and consumerist economy.

Way Forward

Of course it’s a huge compliment for any film that it threatens the most powerful of the land. But we can show them how useless such a censorship can be in today’s times by talking about the film, the censorship, may be writing letters to the editors (if people still do such things), or at least tagging them on twitter in all the posts related to the film.

And of course, by going to a theatre and catching the film ToI doesn’t want you to see.

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Reviews: 

http://www.firstpost.com/bollywood/the-world-before-her-review-a-skillfully-made-provocative-film-1559161.html

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/the-world-before-her-review-it-is-the-kind-of-cinema-that-will-leave-you-shaken-and-stirred/477270-47-84.html

http://rediff.com/movies/column/the-world-before-the-indian-woman/20140606.htm

 

7 thoughts on “The Film Times of India Doesn’t Want You To See

  1. The high praise which Ship of Theseus received ensures that any other similar movie praised in similar manner by the same crowd will not find any takers. I know many people who thought SOT was nothing more than an intellectual masturbation, but failed to express because the self acclaimed intellectuals of bollywood would have bullied them, called them names, labeled them as sallu/aamir/srk fans – which they definitely aren’t. What however it resulted in that people like them stopped trusting those self acclaimed intellectuals.
    The Lunchbox, a movie praised in a similar fashion by the same crowd, did good, because it had Irrfan in it and it was genuinely a good time pass.
    The Gulab Gang promoted itself as a film made by makers of SOT. It was bound to flop.
    I havent seen World Before her yet, but am sure it would have found its audience had the memory of SOT faded away.

    • Gulab Gang was a mainstream commercial film starring Madhuri and Juhi. It had nothing to do with Gulabi Gang the documentary presented by the SHIP OF THESEUS team. And it was well received. Finally, whatever your biases against SOT, pls stop comparing a documentary with fiction. Until you do that accusations of being a sallu fan will stand!

  2. You should not have compared this with Dinanath Batra, which shows your lack of knowledge. Dinanath went to Court and court decided that book should not be sold in India. It has not banned the book. Moreover please read why the court did so. For that you must read the the objection raised by Mr Dinanath.
    In this case they have done it covertly.
    Juhi Chawla also had raised some issued about the conduct of the beauty pageant and her voice also was miffed

  3. Yes, TOI’s paid news policy sucks. But why are you so disappointed in lack of coverage from them? The movie has got brilliant reviews and mentions in a lot of other platforms. And your audience does not rely on TOI to watch movies. Are you really desperate for validation from TOI reviews, which suck anyway?
    If you wanna claim censorship, you need to give stronger proof than “boo… They didn’t review my movie”.
    TOI is a paid news platform and their space for non-paid media is exxxxxtremely limited. That does not mean censorship. It just says they don’t have ethics.

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