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Megh. Govt. defers decision

Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Shillong (UNI): Yesterday the Meghalaya government has deferred its decision on whether to ban the controversial Hollywood blockbuster The da vinci code till Thursday, as it wanted to elicit views from the cross section of the society on the issue. Though the General Administration Department (GAD) Minister H D R Lyngdoh and his officials watched the movie here this afternoon, the decision was reserved till Thursday. ''Though we have watched the movie today, we thought it appropriate to wait for two more days so that we can take into consideration the views of the cross section of the society,'' Mr Lyngdoh told reporters here today after watching the movie.

The Deputy Commissioner of the East Khasi Hills district has been given the responsibility of submitting a report to the ministry after collecting views from the church leaders and other concerned parties. ''We will announce the decision on Thursday after reviewing the report to be submitted by the Deputy Commissioner,'' said the GAD minister. Several prominent church leaders in Christian majority Meghalaya had demanded to ban the film, even as the film hit the theatres elsewhere in the country following the clearance from the Central government. '' We are against the film as its content is blasphemous, '' said Rev Dominic Jala, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church.

Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee, a forum representing Mizorams largest church denomination, has finally voiced its opinon on the controversial da vinci code terming as a 'filthy joke'. In a strongly worded statement the organisation said the da vinci code is purely a work of fiction of Dan Brown, with the sole objective of making money. It is a filthy joke''. ''We condemn the movie and the book as it can mislead the people with lesser faith regarding the Christian belief and the holiness of Jesus Christ'', the statement added. The church leaders' committee also expressed support to fellow Christians in India and abroad, who have been protesting against the film and the novel.

Smaller organisations, such as Peace Accord MNF returnees (PAMARA), Mizoram film producers' guild and the opposition political party Zoram Nationalist Party have also raised their objections to Dan Brown's novel and its film version urging the Mizoram government to ban it. Meanwhile, the deputy commissioner of central Mizoram's Serchhip district has already issued an order banning the screening of the film within the region.

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