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The Opposition parties on Wednesday lambasted the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) diktat to mute four words in a documentary featuring Amartya Sen and demanded that censorship needs to be withdrawn.
Earlier in the day, the CBFC ordered to mute four words - 'Gujarat', 'Hindu India', 'Cow' and 'Hindutva view of India' - in a documentary titled 'Argumentative Indian'.
Speaking to ANI, Communist Party of India (Marxist) Politbureau member Brinda Karat said, "English dictionary and Oxford dictionary was known to us; now we have to understand 'Nihalani's Dictionary'. He being the chairman of CBFC is introducing his dictionary to the world. I don't understand what is wrong in using the word 'Cow' or 'Hindutva'. The cow in Hindi is used as a praiseworthy term. But now in 'Nihalani Dictionary' the word cow has become a word that has to be cut out from language. It is outrageous and highly condemnable. This proves that CBFC can go to any length to defame anyone.
Any such censorship needs to be withdrawn especially on a documentary film."
Another Opposition leader, Shashi Tharoor from Congress stated that CBFC has made the most outrageous and highly condemnable statement.
"If somebody spoke something it has to be broadcasted. He (Amartya Sen) should be allowed to say it or showcase it. But, this statement has become the most outrageous and highly condemnable made by CBFC," Tharoor said.
Filmmaker Suman Ghosh will not be releasing his documentary in Kolkata this weekend which documents the life of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen.
Speaking to ANI, Ghosh said, "I found their point of view very bizarre because there are certain words which I cannot use in the films. Any healthy democracy allows voice of opposition to listen, but I do not know why they are acting so weird. I was told the film can only release once the words, which are used in the film in the context of the current political climate, are censored."
Further speaking on scrutinising every single shot from the documentary, Ghosh stated that he had to wait for three long hours and then was called to mute the words.
"I had a conversation with the CBFC yesterday and hope that the matter resolves peacefully. I am aware of whatever has been going on in movies like 'Udta Punjab', 'Lipstick under My Burkha' and many more. After sitting for three hours at the Censor Board office in Kolkata, during which my documentary was screened and the members scrutinised every single shot, and was also told to mute four words 'Gujarat', 'Cow', 'Hindutva view of India' and 'Hindu India' for getting U/A certificate," he said.
In the documentary, Sen speaks of social choice theory, development economics, philosophy and the rise of rightwing nationalism across the world including India.
The 'Argumentative Indian' is structured as a conversation between Sen and his student Kaushik Basu.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)