//Da Vinci CodeI: CSF threatens countrywide protests

Da Vinci CodeI: CSF threatens countrywide protests

Sunday May 21 2006

MUMBAI: The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) has threatened to launch massive countrywide protests once again if the film ‘‘The Da Vinci Code’’ is released without the disclaimer mandated by the Government.

CSF general secretary Joseph Dias said here that the refusal on part of distributors Sony Pictures to comply with the Censor Board and the Union Ministry’s precondition to include a ‘‘bold and lingering disclaimer’’ lasting for a minimum of 15 seconds and stating the film is purely a work of fiction, exposes its true intent and blatant disregard for the law of the land.

The CSF has urged the Government and CBFC to act immediately and fulfill its promise of not issuing a certificate to the movie, as Sony Pictures had refused to meet the pre-condition.

Any compromise on part of the Government would be a betrayal or breach of trust that the Christians placed in it when the community had allowed the movie without cuts, but with a prominent disclaimer.

The Catholic Secular Forum has also called for a boycott of ‘‘The Da Vinci Code’’, particularly among Christians and Muslims, saying the film was blasphemous and sacrilegious. He said the self-restraint call comes in the wake of pirated versions which could be available almost instantly and the CSF has requested the police to keep vigil in view of the sensitive nature of the issue.

In a letter to over 200 Catholic bishops of India, the CSF has urged each of them to make a representation to the state government, which has the powers to ban the movie under Section 13 (1) and Section 6 of the Cinematography Act, to ensure that film is not screened locally.