Ron Howard’s The Da Vinci Code was released across major parts of India on May 26, 2006 with108 prints across 113 screens in conformity and adherence to the requirements of the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry and the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) without any untoward incident or violence.
Sony Pictures Releasing India (SPRI) is surprised and shocked that despite a peaceful release and clearance from the Central Government’s I &B Ministry and the CBFC, the film has been banned in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Nagaland, Meghalaya and suspended for two months in Tamil Nadu.
“The Da Vinci Code” was scheduled to open in Goa on May 26, 2006 and in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on June 2, 2006. There was no release planned for the other States, except in Punjab, where the film opened in Chandigarh.
The Minister for I&B, Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, saw the film in Delhi with senior members of the Ministry and the CBFC along with senior representatives of the Christian Community and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, who were invited by the Ministry to view the film and give their opinion on the film. Subsequent to this screening, Minister for I&B and the CBFC, granted the film an “A” certificate and deemed it fit for release in India.
In keeping with the Ministry and the Board’s requirement SPRI added language to the beginning of the film for fifteen seconds which states that "the characters and incidents portrayed and the names herein are fictitious, and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional." The same language is present at the end of the film for the same duration. It was also conveyed to the Board that the Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil versions will have the same language.
SPRI would like to reiterate the following facts which also clearly contradict the reasons put forward by the respective governments as their reasons to ban the film:
Globally “The Da Vinci Code” saw a smooth and peaceful release across 65 countries (15,948 screens) including nations like Italy, Spain, The United States of America, the United Kingdom and Brazil. None of these countries saw any violence. Some sixty million people around the globe have seen the movie, without any reported trouble or incidents.