Indian censors want 'cow', 'Hindu' beeped in film

2017-07-12 20:14
A cow rests in a road in Allahabad, India. (Rajesh Kumar Singh, AP File)

A cow rests in a road in Allahabad, India. (Rajesh Kumar Singh, AP File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New Delhi - Indian censors have refused to certify a documentary film featuring Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen unless words like "cow" and "Hindu India" are beeped out, the director said on Wednesday, in the latest dispute involving the sensitive film board.

Suman Ghosh, a national award-winning director, said he screened his film The Argumentative Indian - adapted from Sen's book of the same title - for censors in eastern Kolkata city on Tuesday.

After three hours of viewing, officials verbally asked him to delete the terms "cow" - an animal considered sacred for Hindus - "Hindu India" and "Gujarat".

"In a piece of cinema, I think it's bizarre to just beep something suddenly," Ghosh told the NDTV news network, saying he was "quite shocked" by the censors' objection.

"But I will not make any change at all," he said.

The documentary had been set for release this weekend.

Modi critic

Filmed over the course of more than 15 years, Ghosh's new work mainly features Sen, a vocal critic of Modi, and Kaushik Basu, who was chief economic adviser to India's last Congress-led government, in a conversation that ranges from economics and philosophy to the global rise of right-wing nationalism.

It mentions communal riots in western Gujarat state where at least 1 000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in 2002 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was chief minister there.

Ghosh said he was yet to receive an official notice from the Mumbai-based Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

The CBFC did not immediately respond to several calls and text messages by AFP seeking comment.

Sen said he was "absolutely astonished that there was anything controversial about it".

"The censor board has now made it an interesting film and I am grateful for that," he told NDTV.

Hot-button issue

Cow slaughter or consumption is a hot-button issue in India, where even rumours of them being transported can spark murderous reprisals and religious riots.

Indian censors often bar movies and cut scenes, especially those deemed too racy or at risk of causing religious offence, with filmmakers accusing them of intolerance and muzzling creative freedom.

The CBFC sparked uproar in February when it refused to certify an award-winning Hindi film exploring women's sexuality for being "lady-oriented".

In 2015, it blocked the release of a toned-down version of Fifty Shades of Grey and deemed two James Bond kissing scenes unsuitable for an Indian audience.

Read more on:    india  |  culture  |  religion  |  movies

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

What age should puppies stop chewing shoes?

Chewing is perfectly natural behaviour in puppies and even adult dogs, but dog owners can solve the problem with calm, and these straightforward tips.

 
 

Paws

French Bulldog helps kids with facial differences
Weird things dogs do
Makeover saves dog’s life
For the love of Corgis!
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.