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Samson quits as Censor head, says 'MSG' not reason

By The Assam Tribune
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NEW DELHI, Jan 16 (IANS): Censor Board chief Leela Samson has resigned protesting alleged interference by the government. But she denied on Friday that her exit was linked to controversial film 'MSG'.

"It is absolutely true that I have resigned. (I resigned) last night by SMS and today by email and hard copy letter," Samson told IANS on SMS.

Samson has headed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), a statutory body under the information and broadcasting ministry, since 2011. It regulates the public exhibition of films under the Cinematograph Act, 1952.

An acclaimed Bharatnatyam dancer, Samson said her resignation followed interference by the government in the Censor Board's working and what she described as coercion and corruption of panel members.

But she denied speculation that her departure was due to the clearance given by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) to Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's film 'MSG - The Messenger of God'.

When IANS asked Samson if 'MSG' was the factor, she said: "That is not the reason."

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said Samson's resignation was her personal decision and there was no coercion by the government.

"Whatever the decision, it has to be acceptable to all," he said, in an obvious reference to the FCAT's green signal for 'MSG'. "There was no coercion by the government. If she feels so, let her convey it to the government."

'MSG' was reportedly first rejected by the examining committee of the Censor Board and referred to the revising committee.

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Samson quits as Censor head, says

NEW DELHI, Jan 16 (IANS): Censor Board chief Leela Samson has resigned protesting alleged interference by the government. But she denied on Friday that her exit was linked to controversial film 'MSG'.

"It is absolutely true that I have resigned. (I resigned) last night by SMS and today by email and hard copy letter," Samson told IANS on SMS.

Samson has headed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), a statutory body under the information and broadcasting ministry, since 2011. It regulates the public exhibition of films under the Cinematograph Act, 1952.

An acclaimed Bharatnatyam dancer, Samson said her resignation followed interference by the government in the Censor Board's working and what she described as coercion and corruption of panel members.

But she denied speculation that her departure was due to the clearance given by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) to Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's film 'MSG - The Messenger of God'.

When IANS asked Samson if 'MSG' was the factor, she said: "That is not the reason."

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said Samson's resignation was her personal decision and there was no coercion by the government.

"Whatever the decision, it has to be acceptable to all," he said, in an obvious reference to the FCAT's green signal for 'MSG'. "There was no coercion by the government. If she feels so, let her convey it to the government."

'MSG' was reportedly first rejected by the examining committee of the Censor Board and referred to the revising committee.