Sunday, March 22, 2009


The video revolution has taken India by storm. It has caught the imagination of the people. It carries the potential of becoming the mass entertainer of the future. Presently, the production of Video Cassette Records (VCRs) in India is rather limited. Import of this item is restricted to give boost to Indian production.

The price of a video in India is still high. It is beyond the reach of the middle class. Thus, a number of video libraries have come up. These libraries hire out pre-recorded film cassete for a reasonable fee per day. Mini-video theatres and cafes for entertainment are coming up.

According to an estimate, for every cinema theatre in the country, there are in place two video threatres/cafes. This number is growing. Most long distance buses now provide video entertainment for passengers. Even long distance trains are following suit. Educational institutions, hospitals have started screening useful films on video.

The craze for video is not just confined to metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. Even smaller cities and towns have come under tis sway. Films are shown on video after they are released. The result is that there is poor turnout of people in cinema theatres. Government is put to loss owing to losing revenue by way of entertainment tax.

The film industry in India is perturbed over the ever-increasing incidence of video piracy. Government has taken a number of measures to mitigate the hardships caused to the film industry from video piracy.Those measures are:
(i) Amendment of the Cinematograph Act, 1952, by the Cinematograh Act, 1984 to provide for enhanced punishment
(ii) Making the offences already cognisable relating to certification of films as non-bailable also; and
(iii) Amendment of the Copyright Act, 1957 by copyright Act, 1984 to provide for enhanced and minimum punishment for various kinds of offences under the Act. Offences of infringement of copyright have become cognisable and non-bailable.

In fact, people in urban areas have become crazy to watch video shows. One can watch a video film with family in the comfort of one's drawing room. One need not bother to go all the way to cinema theatre. No advance booking called for; no chance to see House Full notices.

The audio and video have come to stay. It is becoming popular the world over.

Video has ushered in a new era of entertainment. If we view this development dispassioately, we will find that video is supplementing the efforts of the cine world to entertain. It is not a substitute, but a sisterly effort that does not clash as the objective of both, is to educate and entertain. All the more reason to allow both to flourish each in its own way.

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