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Filmmaker agrees to remove word 'Gujarat' from documentary on Amartya Sen


Kolkata, Jan 12: National award-winning filmmaker Suman Ghosh said he has accepted the Censor Board's recommendation to remove the word 'Gujarat' from his documentary on Nobel laureate Amartya Sen after consideration.

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen. PTi file photo

The film 'The Argumentative Indian', which was shot in two parts in 2002 and 2017, has Sen talking about the social choice theory, development economics, philosophy, and the rise of right-wing nationalism across the world including in India.

The Central Board of Film Certification, Kolkata, had, on July 11, asked Ghosh to cut or mute six parts (both words and phrases) - 'Gujarat', 'In India', 'Hindu', 'Cow', 'These days' and 'Hindutva' -- from the documentary for a 'U' certification.

"I recognise that the decision (on removing the word 'Gujarat') is not the best but I strongly believe that the film should be shown to the public without further delay since beyond the controversies, which were rather unfortunate I have a larger point in the film which needs to be communicated," Ghosh told PTI from the US. Contesting over one word will further prolong the matter, as his previous experiences suggest, he said.

"I remain disappointed by the fact that at the end an academician of the stature of Amartya Sen is being subjected to censorship in a democracy," Ghosh said. The filmmaker said ever since the CBFC letter reached him suggesting one cut in the documentary "I had given due thought and consideration to the proposed cut on using the word Gujarat as suggested by the Censor board."

Joshi met CBFC chairman Prasoon Joshi in Mumbai on January 4 this year -- six months since his appeal to the CBFC Review Committee and after two cancelled meetings in the intervening period.

"It was a cordial meet and I got the impression that Joshi is an open-minded person and was ready to have a dialogue about the film," said Ghosh. Joshi and the CBFC team reduced the number of cuts to one -- the word 'Gujarat'.

The filmmaker said he wanted the CBFC Review Committee to give an official reasoning for the proposed cut. "..so that a healthy and meaningful debate can take place in the public forum. In the absence of any such declaration I wish to abstain from any subsequent comment on the matter," Ghosh said.


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