Censor Board’s Actions Have Moved From Farce to Tragedy: Intellectuals Condemn Censorship of Amartya Sen’s Film

India's leading historians and intellectuals have issued a strong statement condemning the latest actions of India's Censor Board under Pahlaj Nihalani seeking to remove terms like "cow", "Hindutva" and "Gujarat" from a film being made on Nobel Laureate, Amartya Sen. The Indian Censor Board has now come up with words that cannot be used in a documentary made by Suman Ghosh, a professor of economics in Miami and a filmmaker, as reported by The Telegraph.
The statement issued by, among others professors Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib states,

"We are shocked and angered by the recent Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) demand that certain words be excised from a film based on the work of the Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen. The movie is titled after Sen’s 2005 work, The Argumentative Indian, which was widely acknowledged for its deep and authentic explorations of India’s traditions of public debate.
The CBFC has reportedly demanded that certain words used by Sen and other scholars and public intellectuals interviewed in the film should be bleeped out if it is to be granted certification for public exhibition. These words include “cow”, “Hindutva view of India”, “Hindu India” and “Gujarat”.

The CBFC’s exertions under its current chair have long crossed the line from farce to tragedy. Occasional efforts to bring it to its senses, such as the stern judicial reprimand handed down in the Udta Punjab case, seem to have no more than transient effect. With its diktat on The Argumentative Indian, the CBFC shows yet again that its anxiety to protect the sensitivities of the political regime, overwhelm any manner of commitment to the Constitution and the law. At risk in this plunge into absurdity, are our most valuable traditions of free speech and debate."

Other Signatories include: Irfan Habib Ashok Mitra, Romila Thapar, Shyam Benegal, Amiya Kumar Bagchi, Saeed Mirza, Anand Patwardhan, Prabhat Patnaik, Mihir Bhattacharya
Ram Rahman, Parthiv Shah, Madangopal Singh, Vivan Sundaram, Nilima Sheikh, Sohail Hashmi, Geeta Kapur, Anil Chandra, Kumi Chandra, M.K.Raina, Rajni Arora, Jahar Kanungo
Rajinder Arora, D. N. Jha, Sashi Kumar, Shireen Moosvi, K.M.Shrimali, Arjun Dev, Anil Bhatti, M.M.P. Singh, Rekha Awasthi, Amir Rizvi, P.K.Shukla, Lata Singh, Dinesh Abrol, Archana Prasad, Githa Hariharan, Kumkum Sangari, Rakhshanda Jalil, Kasim Sait, Virendra Saini, Mridula Mukherjee, Zoya Hasan, C.P.Chandrasekhar, Aditya Mukherjee, Ashok Nath Basu
Indira Chandrasekhar, Vishwa Mohan Jha, Sukumar Muralidharan, Sadanand Menon, A.J.Jawad, Ananya Vajpeyi, Malini Bhattacharya, Atlury Murali, Vikas Rawal, JavedAnand, Teesta Setalvad, K.L.Tuteja, Gopinath Ravindran, Sania Hashmi, Mohan Kumawat, IqtidarAlam Khan, Ishrat Alam, Tani Bhargav, Rajeev Bhargav, Ramesh Rawat, Nadeem Rezavi, Shamim Akhtar, Indira Arjun Dev, Mohan Rao, Jayati Ghosh, Nancy Adajania, Veer Munshi, Abhilasha Kumari, Romi Khosla, Neeraj Malik, Javed Malick, Zafar Agha, Madhu Prasad, KalpanaSahni, Amar Farooqui, B.P.Sahu, R.P.Bahuguna, Shakti Kak, Sarah Hashmi, Moggallan Bharti, Rahul Verma, N.K.Sharma



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