The Shor Bazaar Blog

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shor Bazaar's "Savita Bhabhi" in a documentary film on internet censorship

During our visit to Bangalore, we had the opportunity to catch up with Namita Malhotra, a legal researcher and media practitioner at the Alternative Law Forum in Bangalore, India. She is making a film on internet censorship and surveillance across Asia, along with Subasri Krishnan - an independent documentary filmmaker in New Delhi, as part of the Open Net Initiative project (

This film looks at the dynamics of internet censorship and surveillance across different parts of Asia - whether the struggle of people like Tibetans and Burmese, the turmoil of individuals whose privacy is violated online, the closing down of spaces of free sexual expression and the anger of those whose freedom to blog, to e-mail, to express themselves is taken away in both repressive or democratic regimes.

This is what she has to say
As activists and filmmakers we are against censorship and in the case of Savita Bhabhi it is clear that the blocking of the website is unwarranted. The irony is also that Savita Bhabhi - a playful, inventive comic - is banned, at a time when finally the Indian courts have decided to decrminalise homosexuality. It seems that in terms of personal freedom and privacy, we have gone one step forward and two steps back -- and our losing precious spaces of expressing ourselves, especially on the internet. This is the story that we would like to explore
Namita is using the song "Savita Bhabhi" in this documentary film. Along with the song, she has recorded an interview with us and has taken some footage of our gig at Kyra which will be used in the documentary. We are extremely pleased and honored to be a part of this venture. We confess that it was OUR pleasure working with them. Here's a little bit more about the film.

It is supported by Open Net Initiative (ONI). ONI does research on internet censorship and surveillance across the world. Through this film, she wants to examine internet censorship by various governments in Asia, but particularly India where there is a lot of sex, sexuality and pornography related regulation. The film will be directed by Namita A. Malhotra and Subasri Krishnan.

is a researcher/media practitioner who works at the Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore ( She is a graduate of the National Law School and has a keen interest in pushing the relationship between law and media to look at the critical and aesthetic possibilities. Subasri Krishnan is an independent documentary film-maker who has been working independently for 5 years on films that deal with questions of gender and economy. This will be the first time that the two of them will be collaborating on a project.

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