It’s the Da Vinci showdown

As protests against The Da Vinci Code gather momentum, Mumbai comes out strongly in favour of freedom of expression.

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It’s the Da Vinci showdown


As protests against The Da Vinci Code gather momentum, Mumbai comes out strongly in favour of freedom of expression
I was invited by the Censor Board to watch The Da Vinci Code. The film drags on and, to me, is not very special. The book was much better. It was a racy thriller.
I am a practicing Christian and there's nothing in the film that's spurred me to give up my religion. However, I cannot speak for anyone else. There may be people who are offended by the film.
I am against all such bans. It's ridiculous to have such an attitude. Anybody who is offended can choose not to see the film. It's ironic that the only Christian country in Asia — Philippines — has not banned the film, whereas people in India are clamouring for a ban. I see no reason why the film shouldn't be screened.
Julio Ribeiro
Former Commissioner of Police, Mumbai

Let’s talk
If Vatican is okay, why aren't they?
I definitely want to see The Da Vinci Code. But all the hue and cry seems a little overboard. It's not they are being ignored just because they are a minority community. The censor board has given the film an 'Adult' rating. So, in any case, children will not be able to see the film. If the Vatican, the paramount Christian authority, has okayed the film, why are the Indian Christians protesting?  If The Da Vinci Code can be released in the US and Europe where majority of the people follow Christianity, why stall it here? And how can you label it as blasphemous, when the book is clearly a work of fiction? In fact, if they ban the film, the market will be inundated with pirated CDs and people will be more curious about the film. As it is, many have already read the book. That doesn't leave too much to imagination, does it?
Darayus Subedar
People, learn to respect creativity
Is it not understood by all those who have read the book and those who haven't, that The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction by Dan Brown? People should respect his creativity, not lambast it. After all, it only seeks to provide entertainment to the moviegoer. And if a representative of the Christian community okayed the film along with the censor board, why are others not convinced?     
Farhad Patel
Don't like, don't see
Almost 90 per cent of people who will watch the film, will have read the book and would be aware of the controversy. I fail to understand why there is so much uproar over a work of fiction? This is stifling creativity. People are intelligent enough to make their own choices. If the subject matter of the film is offensive and hurts your sentiments, don't watch it.
Being Cyrus didn't exactly portray the Parsis in a good light, but they took it in their stride. Many of them, in fact, went on to praise the film. People watched films like The Passion of the Christ and The Last Temptation of Christ without batting an eyelid. It seems like our politicians wanted to be catapulted into instantaneous fame, so what better way than to stir another controversy?      
Neville Bharucha
What’s all the fuss about?
I can't understand why people are making such a fuss over the release of the film The Da Vinci Code. Living in a democratic country, how can a bunch of people tell us what to see and what not to see? If any community has a grudge against this film, let them not see it. But why should the rest of the country have to bear the burnt of their action?
To me, this looks more like a public stunt resorted to by a fraction of the society. Anyway, by merely banning the film from the theatres, you can't stop people from watching that film, at least not people like me. We will find a way to watch it anyway.
Suraj Uchil
Book allowed, not film
If they allowed the book to be published across the globe, what's wrong with the film? The book release went on smoothly with people raving about the book, so why protest the release of the film?
In fact, the book has many details, all of which cannot be shown in a film due to the obvious time constraints. After much debate, when the film was finally passed by the censor board in consultation with a representative of the Christian community, why is the I & B ministry intervening? All I want is to watch the film. And I hope it is released soon without too much delay.    
Arshish Dastoor
Spare us all that jazz
I just want to see the film. I am the silent majority that knows it is a work of fiction. This film will have no more meaning than two hours of sitting in an air-conditioned theatre with friends and scarfing down a bucket of popcorn.
But now this film has become a matter of religious importance. And in a democracy, we pretend to have all kinds of equality and rights. So what about my right to view?
Go ahead, ban this film. And you know what will happen? The film will be sold in the black market. The police will have one more thing to police and can watch the film at home (and save money on expensive multiplex popcorn and coffee). Yes, the stupid ban will turn me into someone who would be happy to watch a pirated print. Will someone adopt a practical, no-nonsense approach to this whole thing and let those who want to see the film see it? 
Manisha Lakhe
The curtain raiser
The movie based on the bestseller by Dan Brown is directed by Ron Howard. Tom Hanks is playing Robert Langdon while Audrey Tautou plays Sophie Neveu, fighting
Opus Dei — a clandestine, Vatican-sanctioned Catholic organisation.
Plot: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, along with French cryptologist Sophie Neveu, solves the enigmatic riddle of the Priory of Sion using clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci. They match wits with a faceless powerbroker, who apparently is linked to Opus Dei.
Priory of Sion: It is an esoteric order established in France in 1956 by Pierre Plantard, yet claiming great antiquity. Legends of Priory of Sion have generated great interest, particularly because of books like The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and The Da Vinci Code.
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