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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

TWA request decision to ban Tibetan content in 'Rockstar' is revoked

November 12, 2011
Smt. Leela Samson
Central Board of Film Certification
Bharat Bhavan
91-E Walkeshwar Road,
Mumbai 400 006
Respected Smt. Leela Samson,
In the wake of the directive received by the makers of the Bollywood film ‘Rockstar’ from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to censor the minute portrayal of the Tibetan National Flag and the slogans signifying the Tibetan struggle, we are calling on the CBFC to rescind their decision which is an affront to the dignity of the six million Tibetans and a shameful violation of freedom of speech and expression.
The fact that the Censor Board finds these depictions objectionable is illogical, radical and biased and not befitting the eminence and role of the Censor board.
It is noteworthy that this monumentally wrong decision was taken in the light of the Cinematography Act, 1952, and the principles for guidance in certifying films, issued by the Central Government under section 5B(2), particularly- clause 2, point xvi- ‘friendly relations with foreign States are not strained’. We do not see how displaying the Tibetan National Flag and the ‘Free Tibet’ slogan in the song ‘Sadda Haq’ will threaten India’s relations with China,when the Indian Government have themselves hosted more than 100,000 Tibetans on Indian soil for the last 52 years and have not objected to the Tibetan freedom struggle.
Films are a creative medium for expression; Bollywood is an entity that embodies freedom of speech and expression, and is thus respected internationally.
Deleting minute references to Tibet in a song sequence from the film ‘Rockstar’ will in the longer run jeopardize the image, spirit and prestige of Bollywood.
Should there be a film based on the Tibetan struggle in the near future as rumours suggest, would the CBFC ban the entire film?
This aberrant act of the Board – which functions under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India – also shows evidence of direct pressure from the Chinese Government, and its highhandedness in curbing the Tibetan freedom movement in exile. We are also aware of the recent Mumbai trip (November 3-6) of Xinjiang governor Nur Bekry who welcomed Bollywood to China.
We are confident that the CBFC will reconsider its decision and not bow under the authoritative and controlling nature of the Chinese government. We are convinced that the CBFC will stand up for themselves and for the ideals they embody.
Thanking you,
Yours sincerely,
Dolkar Lhamo Kirti
Tibetan Women’s Association /
The Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) is the second largest Tibetan Non Governmental Organization (NGO) based in exile India and the only women’s NGO in Tibetan history. We are today a 16,000 member organization with 56 chapters in four continents; Asia, US. Europe and Australia. TWA‘s slogan is ‘Advocacy for Home and Action in Exile.’
Cc: Ambika Soni, Minister, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
Mr. Pankaj Thakur, CEO, Central Board of Film Certification
Imtiaz Ali, Director, Rockstar
Dhillin Mehta, Producer, Rockstar

"Advocacy for Home, Action in Exile'

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