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There are mixed responses from Christian majority hill states in the Northeast to the controversial, headline-hogging Ron Howard film, The Da Vinci Code.
While Mizoram, where the Church has strong influence over both the society and polity, is game to wait and watch, Nagaland is not willing to take any chances while Meghalaya is at loss about what to do with the film.
The Da Vinci Code: Complete Coverage
The minority Christian population in Arunachal Pradesh, however, sounds unhappy over the movie's depiction of Christ being a married man with an existing bloodline.
Notwithstanding the decision of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) of India to clear the film with an 'A' certificate, the Nagaland government has decided to prohibit screening of the movie as well as ban the novel on which the film has been made.
The Nagaland cabinet, expressing serious concerns about the CBFC go-ahead for screening the film, has decided to keep its option open for imposing a ban on the film in the hill state.
Nagaland government has issued an 'advisory' to all the cinema hall owners, video parlours and cable operators not to receive, distribute or screen the film in any form in Nagaland.
Not only that, the Nagaland government has also decided to ban the Dan Brown novel in the state and appealed to all booksellers, stockiest, distributors, individual readers not to sell, buy, distribute or read the novel in the state.
The Nagaland cabinet was of the view that while the Ron Howard's film is, 'blasphemous and offensive' for portraying Jesus Christ and Christian in a 'objectionable' manner, Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code is an assault on Christianity.
However, Church leaders in Mizoram have preferred to wait and see. The Mizos have apparently remained cool towards the film that has raked up a global controversy.
Mizoram-based Christian scholar Rev Chuauthuama said that the book or film should not have much affect on life of Mizo people. He said he had read the book and that the main story was based on Gnostic beliefs.
Superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church (NE), Rev R Lalrinsanga said, ''The book and film was derogatory towards Christians." Rev C Ngurhnema of the Mizoram Baptist Church said, ''Although I have not read the book, I know what it is all about. I believe the book to be a challenge to the Christian beliefs.''
In addition, the Christians of Arunachal Pradesh are not pleased. The Arunachal Christian Forum (ACF) has taken strong exception to the Censor Board decision to release the controversial film in India and called for a review.
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