Govt stops screening of Da Vinci Code

Information and Broadcasting Minister PR Dasmunsi told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday that he alongwith members of the Catholic Church and Censor Board would view the movie in camera and only then a decision would be taken about its screening.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 19:03 IST

Taking a cautious approach, the government has decided not to give clearance to the screening of controversial film 'DaVinci Code' till Information and Broadcasting Ministry and Catholic church was satisfied that the film would not hurt the sensitivity of the Christians in the country.

Information and Broadcasting Minister PR Dasmunsi told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday that he alongwith members of the Catholic Church, and officials of the I&B Ministry and Censor Board would view the movie in camera and only then a decision would be taken about its screening.

"Some elements are trying to create mischief and instability in the country by using the film, so we are extra cautious. Unless the minister as part of the government and censor board is satisfied no screening of the film would be allowed by anyone," the minister said.

Earlier, the Sony Television had decided to screen the film and some officials of the I&B Minister and members of the Christian community had watched the movie and opined that there was nothing objectionable in the film.

However, the government wants to first establish a mechanism to get the representatives of the Catholic Church of the country satisfied, only then it would be allowed for exhibition.

About 290 organisation, mostly representing catholic church, had approached the minister urging him to first view the film himself and only after being satisfied allow its screening.

"Since these organisations had sent a memo to the government, then it is my duty to cross check the facts before allowing the screening," the minister said. Since the film is due to be released in India on Friday, the decision would be taken soon.

Denying that attempt is being made to placate minority community, Mr Dasmunsi said that when the government viewed 'Rang DeBasanti' film five times before deciding to allow its screening, what was wrong in adopting a cautious approach now.

He also cited the example of Anand Patwardhan's award winning documentary 'War and Peace,' which was cleared only after he personally viewed it and directed Doordarshan to screen it.

First Published: May 20, 2006 19:03 IST