Films can be exhibited in India only after they have been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification. The Board, set up under the Cinematograph Act, 1952 consists of a chairman and a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 26 members. The headquarters of the Board are at Mumbai.
Indian films are not only popular in India but also popular among many countries of South-East Asia and West Asia. They are also popular in Russia. The export of Indian feature films is channelised through the National Film. I Development Corporation the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) is the central agency to promote good cinema in the country. It was set up on i 11 April, 1980 with the amalgamation of the erstwhile Film Finance Corporation and Indian Motion Picture Export Corporation.
The Indian film industry is a source of employment to many people. The cinema is a very economical source of entertainment for the common people. Any person can buy a ticket for a few rupees and see a movie at any cinema house. Cinema helps us to escape, for a while, from the worries and anxieties of life. It relieves us of tension. It provides us relaxation. It is for this reason that in a cinema-hall, we always find a cross-section of people-executives and workers, rich and poor, young and old, boys and girls, etc.
Cinema is a great source of education. It enlarges the frontiers of our knowledge. We can know about the culture, clothes, language, customs, etc. of people of other countries by seeing foreign films in India or seeing Indian films which have scenes shot in foreign countries. It saves us the botheration of physically visiting these countries. Documentary films also increase our knowledge. We can watch the scenes of different cities and countries while sitting in the comfort of cinema halls.
In a backward country like India, cinema can be a great source of education. We can gain knowledge of political, social and economic problems of our country. If educational films are produced, students of schools and colleges can benefit a lot in their studies. The students of today are the citizens of tomorrow. By showing them good movies, we can build the character of students and broaden their outlook. Cinema leaves a permanent and a deep impression on the minds of the people especially the young ones. It is, therefore, imperative i that only good pictures are shown to our young students.
Cinema can be instrumental in bringing about much needed social reforms in our society. Social films can show the evils of untouchability, dowry, and child Marriage, drinking, drug addiction, smoking, etc. and exhort the people to give up these evils in their own interest. Communalism raises its ugly head time and again in many parts of the country. Cinema can highlight the fact that communalism poses the greatest danger to the unity of the country. It can promote national integration. Cinema can also teach people to be law-abiding, to keep the environment clean, and to fight against diseases.
But films can also cause a lot of harm if they are made with an eye on the box office without bothering about the social content of these films. Unfortunately, most of the films being produced in Mumbai and other centres ire full of violence, nude scenes, rape scenes, cabaret dances, etc. They ieliberately inject scenes of sex and violence in films and thus contaminate the Jural and social atmosphere of the society. If people are exposed to sex and violence all the time, they may be psychologically conditioned to accept them i routine facts of life, which in fact goes against the aims for which films are tide, that is, to bring unity and harmony among the people. Such films pollute ie minds of young boys and girls. Such filthy films create every bad impression the minds of young students who can easily go astray.
Similarly, films depicting sordid events like murders, robbery, theft, cheating, S. leave an adverse influence on the minds of the youth of our country. By seeing such films, young boys and girls develop criminal tendencies in the: life. These films initiate the youth into the world of crime and make the vagabonds. However, the Children’s Film Society India (CFSI) provides value based entertainment to children through the medium of films and is engaged in production, acquisition, distribution/exhibition and promotion of children’s films. CFSI films are telecast regularly on Doordarshan as well as on private satellite channels.
Thus while cinema has many advantages, it also has a number of disadvantages. Our Government should, therefore, formulate a National Policy on Films so that only good and purposeful films are produced and exhibited in our country. The Censor Board should be told to be stricter while passing the films. If the right types of films with social and moral messages are produced, they can bring about the much needed reforms and changes in our society.