July 13, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi: As per the media reports India’s film censor board headed by its controversial chairman Pahlaj Nihalani known for his proximity with pro-Hindutva political outfit BJP has here on Wednesday ordered that a documentary about the economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen be altered to remove words including “Hindu” “India” and “cow”.
While interacting with the media the director of the documentary Suman Ghosh stated he was told by censor board officials on Monday that his one-hour documentary about Amartya Sen, a Harvard professor and essayist, could be released only if certain words were bleeped out.
The reported words are “cow”, “Hindu Rastra (India)”, “Hindutva” – a reference to the religious supremacist ideology of India’s ruling party – and “Gujarat”, the home state of the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi.
“I was quite shaken,” Suman Ghosh told NDTV of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) decision, against which he said he would be appealing. “I was shocked but I thought, I have to argue.”
“If the government has any reservations, there can be dialogue.” Amartya Sen purportedly said.
In the documentary, named after his book of essays The Argumentative Indian, Amartya Sen criticises what he sees as the “restricted vision” of India espoused by Narendra Modi’s pro-hindutva party. The manifesto of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seeks to redefine India’s culture and institutions as inherently Hindu in nature, in contrast to the pluralist vision of the country’s previous leaders in power, notes the Guardian.
It was reported by the media that Amartya Sen lauds the value of vigorous argument and debate, in contrast to “chastising people for having mistreated a cow or some such thing”, that too in the back drop of enumerable incidents taking place across India in which deadly mobs are attacking cattle traders, beef-eaters and dairy farmers, with most of the attacks waged by so-called Gau Rakshaks (cow vigilantes) from fringe Hindu groups targeting Muslims and Dalits alike. Major driving factor towards this heinous crime is that fact that cow is considered pious by a large section of Hindu population of the sub-continent.
It is stated that the documentary was filmed for over 15 years which predominantly consist Dr Sen in conversation with one of his students, economist Kaushik Basu.
It has already debuted in New York and London. It was screened in Kolkata for the first time yesterday, but further shows in India are in question now, reads a quote from the report published on NDTV’s website.