The Argumentive Indian, a documentary on the Indian Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, has been stalled by India’s censor board. The censor board, which has caused uproars with a series of questionable decisions several times, dictated that Amartya Sen is not allowed to say the word “cow” in a documentary and has to be beeped when he says the words “Gujarat”, “Hindu India,” and “Hindutva view of India” in the documentary.
Filmmaker Suman Ghosh, who helmed the documentary on the famed economist said that, if he agrees to these cuts, his documentary will be released with a UA certificate, confirmed NDTV.
The 83 year old economist and philosopher is believed to have refused to accept the cuts in The Argumentative Indian.
“It shows the country is in the hands of an authoritarian regime pursuing its own view of what is good for the country,” Sen said, while admitting that he was astonished after hearing the news.
“The cow isn’t one of my favourite words but it isn’t about that. I think what they object to is the particular statements. It’s not that they didn’t like my reference to Gujarat but it is to what happened in 2002,” he added.
[caption id="attachment_74895" align="alignleft" width="300"] Suman Ghosh
Suman Ghosh, whose first feature film, Footsteps won twoNational Awards in 2008, in India, said the censor board’s members watched his one-hour film for over three hours in Kolkata on Friday, and confirmed that the documentary would be released with a UA certificate – requiring parental guidance – only if he agrees to blip out the words.
The news came as a shock to the director who also works as a professor of economics at Florida Atlantic University. “I was quite shaken. I was shocked but I thought, I have to argue,” he said.
The 44 year old director, however, is not going to compromise when it comes to his documentary, and is ready to take the fight to the court, if necessary.
“The film was my comment on India. I feel disheartened because I wanted to convey certain thoughts and they are trying to stifle it...I have heard that these things are going on. Now I have a taste of this first-hand,” Ghosh added.