Telecom industry calls for ban on Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar starrer 2.0 for depicting mobile phones and mobile towers in a defamatory manner

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on Nov 28 2018
Telecom industry calls for ban on Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar starrer 2.0 for depicting mobile phones and mobile towers in a defamatory manner
HIGHLIGHTS

Industry body COAI has called upon the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to revoke the certification already granted for the teaser, trailer and other promotional video and Tamil language version of the film. The representative body has also requested that the exhibition of the movie be suspended pending review.

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Upcoming Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar starrer 2.0 has come under fire from the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) for promoting Anti-scientific attitudes regarding the alleged harmful effects of electromagnetic field (EMF) emissions from mobile phones and towers. The film produced by Dharma Productions and directed by S Shankar is a sequel to 2010 movie Enthiran. It is the most expensive film made in India till date and the ninth-most expensive non-English-language film by production cost ($75,000,000). From the looks of the trailer, the sci-fi movie shows Akshay Kumar play Dr Crow, a person who studies birds and the negative effects of electromagnetic field emissions from mobile towers and mobile phones on birds.

COAI as a body has always been a strong proponent of the theory that EMF emissions do not cause any harm to humans or animals. The industry body often cites a WHO research report which states - "Considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects." COAI has now alleges that the movie 2.0, including its teasers, trailers and other promotional videos, depict mobile phones and mobile towers in a defamatory manner. “ The promotional videos are based on the theme that electromagnetic field (EMF) emissions from mobile phones and towers are harmful to living creatures and the environment including birds and human beings which will create unfounded fear and mass paranoia by spreading misinformation about the adverse impact of mobile towers and mobile phones,” Rajan Mathews, Director General, COAI wrote in a press statement.

COAI has alleged this is defamatory to the industry body and its members. The body that represents all of India’s telecom operators further noted that the film 2.0 “endangers public order, presents anti-scientific attitudes, constitutes offences including under various sections of the IPC and is in violation of the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1952. It is against the public interest as it constitutes offences under section 268 (public nuisance), section 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and section 499 (defamation) of the IPC and stands to prejudice the ongoing proceedings before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India over whether or not mobile towers have any harmful effects.”

Citing the above reasons COAI has requested the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to revoke the certification already granted for the teaser, trailer and other promotional video and Tamil language version of the film. The representative body has also requested that the exhibition of the movie be suspended pending review and that a copy of the film should be provided to COAI for further assessment and examination.

Image Courtesy: Still from 2.0 trailer

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