No licence to thrill – Indian censors cut Bond’s kisses short

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New Delhi (dpa) – Fictional spy James Bond has seen his amorous clinches cut short by India’s film censors in the latest installment of the long-runnning series, prompting a lively reaction from local fans Thursday.

India’s Board of Film Certification cleared the film Spectre only after two kissing scenes were shortened and two swear words removed, a source on the board said.

“Both of [lead actor] Daniel Craig’s kisses with his co-stars have been reduced by 50 per cent,” the source said. “The censor board had nothing against James Bond kissing, but the timespan of the kisses were found to be too long.”

The film starring Craig and co-stars Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux was to hit Indian cinemas Friday.

Public display of affection including kissing is frowned on in mostly conservative India and sex scenes are routinely censored from films.

But by the convention of the Bond movies, the British double agent always gets the girl.

Fans took to Twitter to poke fun at the concession to local sensitivities.

“James Bond will be released in India only if he agrees to marry the Bond girl,” said one post and hashtag #SanskariJamesBond was trending on Twitter. Sanskari in Hindi is someone who is virtuous and true to tradition and rituals.

“#SanskariJamesBond can’t kiss or swear in the land of the Kamasutra. Thank you Mr Nihalani!,” said another tweet.

Censor board chairman Pahlaj Nihalani, a filmmaker himself, did not respond to requests for comment.

Nihalani was appointed in January by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government, after classical Indian dancer Leela Samson quit complaining of government interference.

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