EP 285 . 25 Oct 23

Censorship in films (Hindi)

With Ajit Rai

In the episode

  1. What is censorship in the context of films? Why do establishments feel the need of banning or censorship?
  2. When and why did it start? What’s Hays Code and what were the few important milestones in the evolution of censorship? May be just in the Indian context?
  3. Can you tell us if there is any official framework or guidelines for censorship in India? If yes, what are those guidelines?
  4. Who made these? When and why were these made? How objective are these?
  5. I guess, rules in censorship should be treated like Smrutis. They should change with time. Whats the challenge today?
  6. You strongly believe in that nothing should be censored. How do you justify it?
  7. Whats the difference between banning and censorship? What are your thoughts on banning?
  8. We as creators believe, movies are powerful, it can change narratives – so establishment will always interfere – What can be done as creators and also audience?
  9. Many people like Gorge Carlin challenged the establishments and boldly used “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television”. We have many such examples. In my conversation with Varun Grover, even he mentioned that an artist never know the line until he/she crosses it. How can we see a society that allows these line to be crossed. Who can cross these lines? Is this a right question?
  10. What according to you is the future of censorship in India till we have authoritarian regimes. How do you see censorship in a realistic world? Is there a utopian world in film making?

About Ajit Rai

Potter Stewart an associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court once said, “Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself.” Censoring artists, intellectuals is not a new thing.

We have Ajit Rai with us on Audiogyan. We’ll be talking about banning and censorship in films in the Indian context.

He wrote a best seller book ” Hindujas and Bollywood'(English ) that is launched in London by actor Akshay Kumar & “Bollywood ki Buniyaad”(Hindi ) launched in 75 th Cannes Film Festival by Mr Apoorva Chandra Secretary Ministry of I & B Govt of India last year 2022. It is a global journey of about 1200 Hindi films introduced to World by Hinduja Family. He is invited and travelled and reported from more than 50 countries in many prestigious International Film Festivals and Nobel prize ceremony as well.

His credentials are as follows 1.Presently working as Advisor and Film Critic Bharat Express National News Channel. 2.He is regularly contributing as Film Critic for Jansatta / The Indian Express group, Navbharat Times/ The Times of India group, Dainik Bhaskar, Prabhat khabar, People Samachar, Jan Sandesh Times and more than 25 digital media outlets. 3. Ajit Rai has been a member of Media Committee International Film Festival of India Goa in 2010 and Selection Jury Member (Preview Committee) in 2014, 2015 & 2017. 4. He is a guest speaker in knowledge Series of NFDC Film Bazar in IFFI Goa many times. 5 .Ajit Rai has been invited by Film & Television Institute of India as Guest of Honour in 2013 & 2015 in Student Film Festival and National Students Film Awards ceremony.


  1. He is a Member of Jury in Life After Oil International Film Festival Sardenia Italy.
  2. Cannes Film Festival – the most prestigious festival in the world- granted Ajit Rai the top priority Press Badge considering him as one of the most important film critic of the World He is covering Cannes Film Festival & many other international film festivals and IFFI Goa since 2004.
  3. Ajit Rai is only film critic of India who wrote maximum articles on International Film Festival of India IFFI Goa around more than 500 from 2004 to till date.
  4. He has been Consultant Jagaran Film Festival in 2012, 2013 & 2014 in 16 cities of India by the largest circulated Hindi newspaper of the world- Dainik Jagran.
  5. He is Advisor and Member of Jury in Rajasthan International Film Festival Jaipur
  6. (a) He has started Raipur International Film Festival in collaboration with Govt of Chhattisgarh and Directorate of Film Festival DFF Govt of India in 2015. (b) He has Started Haryana International Film Festival Yamunanagar in 2008 in collaboration with Govt of Haryana. (c) He has started Azamgarh International Film Festival in 2018. (d) He has started Faridabad International Film Festival in 2012. (e). He has started Sardar Patel International Film Festival in Patiala Punjab
  7. (a) He has started Indian Film Festival Moscow Russia as founder Director in 2014 (b) Indian Film Festival Uppsala Sweden in 2013 . (c) He has started Indian Film Festival Berlin Germany in 2012. (d) He is Consultant Bollywood Film Festival Oslo Norway since 2013 .
  8. He has been invited by President of Iran in 2012 as a special guest in New Horizon Film Festival Tehran .
  9. Ajit Rai is one of the leading Film & Theatre Critic & Cultural Journalist of India with wide and vast experience of more than 30 years in almost all leading National Newspapers, reputed Journals and Electronic media as well on Cinema, Theatre, Literature & Cultural discourses. His about 5000 published articles are pioneer in Film & Cultural journalism. Some of his innovative reports has been debated in Indian Parliament .
  10. He has been Editor – Rang Prasang.. an international journal of Cinema & Theatre, National School Of Drama, Ministry Of Culture, Govt. Of India.
  11. He is a Member of Jury Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the largest theatre festival of the 3rd world by National School Of Drama, Ministry of Culture Govt of India.
  12. He is a Member of Jury Meta Awards by Mahindra Company for theatre.
  13. Founder Editor – Drishyantar, a monthly magazine of Cinema TV Culture & Media by Doordarshan Ministry of I&B Govt of India.
  14. Worked as consultant Doordarshan Ministry of I & B Govt of India.
  15. Worked with All India Radio, Patna & New Delhi. Ministry of I&B Govt of India.
  16. World Record – (a) -Ajit Rai made a world record in film journalism in Cannes Film Festival 2018. He published 75 articles in various Indian Newspapers in 15 days on Cannes Film Festival This is a world record that one journalist wrote 75 articles about one event. (b) He made a world record in Theatre Criticism in 2010 when his 25 articles published 25 days daily without break during International Theatre Festival by National School of Drama New Delhi. (c). He is covering Cairo International film festival, EL Gouna Film Festival in Egypt and Red Sea International Film Festival regularly and wrote 25 articles every year.
  17. He wrote a book Hindujas and Bollywood in English and Bollywood ki buniyaad in Hindi on contribution of Hinduja Brothers to Indian Cinema.. It is a global cultural journey of about 1200 Hindi films introduced to World by Hinduja Family.
  18. Pioneer in personality journalism in India in 1995 in India Today magazine.
  19. He has been invited to deliver lecture on Cinema ,Indian culture, Theatre & society by United Nation ( UNO) New York, British Parliament, London, President House Tehran Iran, Uppsala University Sweden, Bollywood Festival Oslo, Norway, Indian Film Festival Berlin Germany & Moscow Russia. Dubai UAE ( Indian Embassy, Sardenia Italy and many more.
  20. Ajit Rai is one and only who has been invited in Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony Oslo Norway in 2014.
  21. He is pioneer of Cinema movement in Educational Institutions of India and abroad and started many Film Festivals & Film Appreciation Courses in DAV Girls College, Yamunanagar, Haryana, Kurukshetra University, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, Mahatma Gandhi Hindi International University Vardha, Maharashtra. DAV Centenary College Faridabad , Hariyana etc.
  22. Work Experience- He worked with various newspapers and magazines from 1988 to till date-
    1. Dainik Hindustan, Patna & New Delhi ( Hindustan Times group)
    2. Navbharat Times, Patna & New Delhi ( Times of India group)
    3. Jansatta. New Delhi ( Indian Express group)
    4. Dainik Bhaskar, Bhopal
    5. Dainik Jagaran, New Delhi
    6. Rashtriya Sahara New Delhi
    7. Sahara samay New Delhi
    8. Swatantra Varta, Hyderabad
    9. News Break , Patna
    10. Amar Ujala New Delhi
    11. Prabhat khabar, Ranchi Jharkhand
    12. India Today. New Delhi
    13. Outlook, New Delhi
    14. Hans New Delhi
    15. Aaj ki Jandhara, Raipur Chhattisgarh 16 Jan Sandesh Times. Lucknow .
    16. People s Samachar Bhopal Madhya Pradesh.
    17. The Sentinal. Guwahati Assam.
  23. Educational qualification – (a) M. A. in Psychology ( 1989), 1st Division, ( b) M.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication, (2007). 1st Division. Note – Ajit Rai always got 1st Division & 1st Class through out his education ie from Class 1 to 12, B.A. (Hons.) & M.A.
  24. Professional qualifications (a). Diploma in Psycho Analysis, Educational- vocational Guidance & Counselling , 1st division. 1993, NCERT, New Delhi. (b) . Diploma in Journalism.1 st division( 2006, ) Kurukshetra University. (c). Diploma in Film Appreciation, 1st division 2003. Film & Television Institute of India FTII Pune.
  25. Awards
    1. Beat Film Critic National Award, Rajasthan International Film Festival, Jaipur . 2020.
    2. Best Film Journalist Award, LIFFT India Film Festival, Lonawala, Mumbai, 2020.
    3. Pride of India Award, Khajuraho International Film Festival, 2020.
    4. Jaiprakash Narayan International Award for Journalism, Delhi 2020
    5. Nat Samrat Best Theatre Critic Award, Delhi , 2020.
    6. Rang Sameeksha Samman, Ashirvad Rang Mandal, Begusarai, Bihar. 2018
    7. Rang Sameeksha Samman, Abhinaya Rang Manch, Hisar, Haryana, 2016.
    8. Pride of India Award. 2012
    9. Natya Sameeksha Samman, Manch Rangmanch, Amritsar. Punjab. 2010 10 . Kala Sameeksha Samman, Abhinav Rang Mandal Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. 2008.
    10. Best Auther of the book 2022 Award. Rajasthan International Film Festival Jaipur 2023.
  26. Published Books
    1. Hindujas and Bollywood
    2. Bollywood ki Buniyaad
    3. Drishyantar
    4. Andhere Men Chamakati Awazen
    5. Two Decades of Jis Lahore Nai Wekhyan
    6. All published by Vani Prakashan New Delhi.