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Amartya Sen Documentary Crosses 'Cow' and 'Hindutva' Hurdles, But 'Gujarat' Still a Roadblock

The Prasoon Joshi-led Central Board of Film Certification has cleared all hurdles for NRI filmmaker Suman Ghosh’s hour-long documentary on Sen, The Argumentative Indian, for a Universal certification. All, save one.

Sougata Mukhopadhyay | CNN-News18

Updated:January 6, 2018, 8:06 AM IST
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Amartya Sen Documentary Crosses 'Cow' and 'Hindutva' Hurdles, But 'Gujarat' Still a Roadblock
File photo of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen. (PTI)
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Kolkata: The spectre of “Gujarat” continues to haunt Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen even though the burden of “Cow”, “Hindu” and “Hindutva” has been removed from his shoulders.

The Prasoon Joshi-led Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has cleared all hurdles for NRI filmmaker Suman Ghosh’s hour-long documentary on Sen, The Argumentative Indian, for a Universal certification. All, save one.

The Board has asked Ghosh to remove the word “Gujarat” from one of Sen’s speeches, which he delivered at Cornell University in the context of the communal riots that took place in the state in 2002. The CBFC has issued a show-cause notice, Ghosh confirmed.

Unconvinced with the conditional clearance, Ghosh remains undecided on whether he would accept the clause to clear the way for the documentary’s release in India. “I am yet to decide whether I would abide by the CBFC suggestion. I would definitely consult Professor Sen before taking a final call on that,” Ghosh told News18.

The matter was communicated to the filmmaker after the board’s regional review committee in Mumbai watched the documentary on Thursday.

The scheduled release of the documentary of the film got stalled in July last year after Ghosh refused to abide by the diktat of the Board, then chaired by Pahlaj Nihalani, to beep out expressions like “Gujarat”, “cow”, “Hindu” and “Hindutva”. Ghosh was toying with the idea of releasing the film overseas if the censor board barrier in India couldn’t be crossed.

This time, however, the filmmaker sounded upbeat. “Following the screening in Mumbai, I had a very honest and fruitful discussion with CBFC chairman Prasoon Joshi. He loved the film and expressed his opinions about it. It was a healthy exchange of views,” Ghosh said, adding, “This discussion with the chairman has put me in a better position to take a final decision about the suggested cut.”

“The cuts that were suggested by the previous Board were baseless and random. Any sensible person watching the film would know there is no need for it,” he said.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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