India has earned the distinction of being the only country in the world where the government has stepped in to decide if the Tom Hanks-starrer The Da Vinci Code movie should be shown. If a ban follows, India will join the hallowed company of Lebanon and Jordan, which proscribed the book.
Though the Censor Board of India has cleared the movie The Da Vinci Code, with `A' certificate and by shifting the diclaimer, which says the movie is a work of fiction, from end to the beginning of the movie, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Mr Priya Ranjan Das Munshi, has decided to stop the release of the film. According to him "The concurrence of the Catholic Church of India should be obtained before we take a decision''. This concurrence may or may not be given by the Catholic Churg organization by this Friday, when the movie is supposed to be released worldwide. Thanks to him, the movie will be a bigger hit in India then it may be expected to be. It might have been seen by those who have read the book and now it will be seen by those who may not heard about the book but may see the film anway.
Strangely, the book The Da Vinci Code on which the movie is based, is freely available in India and the Catholic organization are not asking for a ban on the book.
Michael Baigent, cu-author of the book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, who recently unsuccessfully sued Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code for plagiarism, recounts his experience