Censorship can have different meanings with respect to different view points.
As per Wikipedia, the primary definition of censorship or rather intent is suppression of speech, writing and action. Not just speech but also communication of information is blocked, that a society may find it objectionable or politically incorrect
Censorship can also mean certifying movies on a given rating, based on the movie’s content. Along with it, the censor board suggest cuts in the movie, which they find it unsuitable for watching. These cuts are proportional to the censor rating they have earlier provided. If a film director agrees for an A certificate, it may allow a lot of scenes without cuts. However this restricts film goers to only 18+ and can impact ticket sales.
At the same time, if he goes in for cuts and gets a U/A certificate, the movie’s key essence may be taken away, thereby impacting the quality of the movie
Impact of Censorship can be both good and bad in its own way
The very few advantages of censorship include:
- Gives complete control to the government, to monitor all the information being communicated and regulates/blocks those that may cause communal/religious tensions and disrupts harmony
- The government and censor board can effectively moderate content that’s suitable for children and adults separately. By disallowing children to not watch movies with an A rating, they try to protect the child from watching objectionable content including heavy violence
Negative impacts of censorship
Suppression of freedom of speech: Writers and even the common man has to constantly fear over expressing their opinions directly. Any such expression can be misinterpreted and certain sensitive societies might find it objectionable. This can lead to imprisonment and even physical attacks against the person responsible, though he may have meant no harm
The impact of censorship in taking away a person’s fundamental right such as freedom of speech can be quite dangerous and affects the overall sense of security in people
Some countries like China, Russia and Korea are quite famous for their censorship. Most websites like Google, Twitter are blocked where the people can access critical information. This digital information censorship can reflect poorly on a nation’s status and naturally rank very low in the Press Freedom Index
As per a Wikipedia article and a report from Reporters without Borders , India ranks quite low at 136 in the world.
Some of the things that are heavily impacted by censorship include :
- Pornography : A highly debatable topic about censorship of objectionable content, including sexually explicit scenes. A large section of the audience argues that people are mature enough to decide what they want to see and not. On the other hand , there’s a section of society which wants government to ban all kinds of explicit content from media, newspapers, TV and even on the internet
- Films : Primarily the biggest impact of censorship is on films only. Nothing is spared when it comes to censoring a movie. Whether it’s a controversial scene or an item number, a bad song lyric or even the movie title can be found objectionable and forced to change
- Some of the other censored items include Books, Press , Music , Dramas and even a country map that may have incorrect borders drawn over