I wonder if folks remember the wholesome entertainment of Doordarshan (DD : India’s state owned television in the pre-cable era) Doordarshan was aptly named – sometimes it was more entertaining to stare at the door.
The Entertainment gurus deemed it inappropriate for young minds to see a lot of things, top among them being hot love scenes. I remember Chitrahaar and Oliyum Oliyum bearing the brunt of these ‘edits’. You see, love songs are (and were), a part and parcel of Indian cinema. You have to see a heroine shiver in the cold, hug her hero and sing while prancing around trees (preferably Eucalyptus trees – the scent will keep them from catching cold). But the DD powers felt family entertainment must not contain any scenes of kissing or cuddling in love songs. Consequently, every time something mushy was on the cards, a static picture would appear.
For example, whenever Roja songs came on with Arvind Swamy mooning over Madhubala, the scenes were replaced by still photographs of the Himalayas. Instead of listening to the songs on tape, one could see a beautiful photograph of the Himalayas and listen to the songs. Visual effects can affect one you know?
I remember an Aunt of mine telling us about how her warden would accompany them to movie viewings and tell them all to close their eyes whenever a middle-aged-hero-dressed-like-college-boy wooed a woman on screen.
I thought all those days were behind us, till I read this news item telling us airlines routinely censor their in-flight entertainment
I suppose it makes sense to air appropriate content for in-flight entertainment. I mean, no one wants a lethal combination of an idle mind and airline food, getting food for thought from a terrorist movie. Imagine what this man would have going in his mind if he had got on the plane?
But even there, Air India stands out. I quote:
Air India passengers are forced to squint during the screening of romantic comedies, with the airline policy of blurring out any signs of romance on TV screens.
We love India.
All Indians are our brothers & sisters.
Old DD folks absorbed at Air India perhaps?!