What is Pornography?
Amita Malik
PORNOGRAPHY AND CENSORSHIP IN INDIA By G.D. Khosla by G.D. Khosla Indian Book Company, 1977, 150 pp., 40.00
March-April 1977, volume 2, No 3/4

During the recent Emergency, anyone who wanted to get the real news went over to the nearest newspaper office and, if he had a trustworthy friend, asked him if he could have a look at the list of for­bidden items from the censor. Till a few years ago, anyone who wanted to know what the Central Board of Film Censors considered obscene merely borrowed a copy of the Gazette of India. There, listed for those who wanted to leer, were the most titillating items about ‘Cut from where the low-necked blouse appears to where the camera plunges into it’, or words to that effect. The Gazette blissfully published enough graffiti of this type to provide voyeurs with free entertainment for years.

G.D. Khosla, who has written more official wordage on censorship in India than perhaps any man or woman alive, and served on more Government of India committees on films than any other Indian, thus has a formidable back­ground on the subject. He is certainly in a position to know what the public wants. And, as far as this book is concerned, he plunges into the neckline, and much else besides, from the word ‘Go’ by opening his definition of porno­graphy—is what this book is about—by quoting extensively from the Indian scriptures.

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