India's telecom trade body wants to ban Bollywood sci-fi film ‘2.0’ for promoting negative attitudes towards mobile phones

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  • The Cellular Operators Association of India wants to ban the Bollywood sci-fi film “2.0” just a day before its release, accusing the film of spreading the wrong message about the use of mobile phones and mobile towers.
  • The COAI said that the content of the film is “defamatory” as it portrays the adverse impact of mobile phones and towers on humans, birds, and the environment.
  • Every person with a cell phone is a ‘murderer,’ Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar’s character is seen saying in the film’s teaser.
Bollywood stars and filmmakers are no stranger to protests before film releases. But a sci-fi Bollywood film “2.0,” which just released, is facing resistance from an unusual place.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), a trade body representing mobile India’s phone makers and mobile operators, wants a ban on the film that stars Bollywood veteran actors Rajnikanth and Akshay Kumar because it promotes negative attitudes towards mobile phones.

COAI has asked India’s Central Board of Film Certification, which regulates India’s films, to revoke its certificate for provoking “obscurantist and anti-scientific attitudes towards the mobile phone, towers, and mobile services, ”The Indian Express reported.

In a letter to the board, the trade body reportedly accused the film of promoting ‘defamatory’ content including mentions that mobile phones and mobile towers were harmful for human, birds and the environment.

It also reportedly said in a statement that the film’s content may spread misinformation that would create unfounded fear and mass paranoia. It also alleged that it violated many sections of the Indian Penal Code, Mint reported, citing the statement.

The association appeared to have taken issue with Kumar’s character saying in the film’s teaser that every person with a cell phone is a ‘murderer.’

The trade association counts Indian mobile service providers Jio, Vodafone-Idea, and Airtel among its members, according to its website.
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