slogan
Menu

India: Supreme Court breaks police stranglehold on theatre

11 June 2014

“If Chennai doesn’t have vaginas, it is full of a#*holes!” quipped Mahabanu Mody Kotwal in the opening act of The Vagina Monologues when it was staged in Mumbai.

The veteran theatre actor and director had good reason for using the pun. In December 2010, when the play was to be staged in the city for the first time, the Police Commissioner played spoilsport at the eleventh hour and declined permission.

India_index_supremecourt

Theatre’s subversive and liberating potential is renowned, and governments the world over have never held themselves back from wielding the censor’s bludgeon, but in India, it is the police which has been vested with remarkably sweeping powers to crack down on theatrical performances.

Earlier in 2014, a play on the Partition of India wasn’t allowed to be staged in Bangalore, and yes, Chennai. In both cases, it was the police which called the shots in the cancellations.

However, Chennai’s travails might well be over because in January 2014, the Supreme Court struck down those provisions of the legislation – The Tamil Nadu Dramatic Performances Act, 1964 which permitted the cops to be the sole arbiters of “suitable” drama in the first place.

» See on  www.indexoncensorship.org



Home / News / India: Supreme Court breaks police stranglehold on theatre

Check Also

Freemuse is concerned about the recent trial & house arrest of prominent Russian theatre director Kirill Serebrennikov over charges of alleged embezzlement.

Freemuse calls on Russian authorities for impartiality and due process in Serebrennikov case

Freemuse is concerned about the recent trial & house arrest of prominent Russian theatre director Kirill Serebrennikov over charges of alleged embezzlement.