Beep out Gujarat, cow, Hindutva: Censor Board's diktat on Amartya Sen documentary

The Censor Board of India has stalled a documentary on Nobel laureate Amartya Sen after the film's director refused to follow the diktat to beep word

The Censor Board has stalled a documentary on Nobel laureate Amartya Sen after the film’s director refused to follow the diktat to beep words like “Gujarat”, “cow” and Hindutva view of India”. Suman Ghosh, the director of ‘The Argumentative India’, was reportedly told by CBFC that his documentary will be released with a UA certificate – requiring parental guidance – only if he agrees to beep out these words. However, Ghosh has refused to toe the board’s line.

“The attitude of the censor board just underlines the relevance of the documentary in which Sen highlights the growing intolerance in India. Such scrutiny of any criticism of the government in a democratic country is shocking.” The Telegraph quoted Ghosh as saying.

He further made it clear that he has no intention to mute the words suggested by the censor board.

“There is no way I would agree to beep or mute or change anything that one of the greatest minds of our times has said in the documentary,” he said.

According to the report, the word “Gujarat” came up during a lecture Sen delivered at Cornell University which has also been filmed.

“…Why democracy works so well is that the government is not free to have its own stupidities, and in case of Gujarat its own criminalities, without the Opposition being howled down and booted out …” Sen said.

The documentary named after a book authored by Sen, was filmed over 15 years by Mr Ghosh, and mainly features a conversation between Dr Sen and one of his students, economist Kaushik Basu. Eminent scholars Paul Samuelson, Kenneth Arrow, Sugata Bose and former prime minister and economist Manmohan Singh talk about their understanding of the gamut of Sen’s work.

The film has already debuted in New York and London. It was screened in Kolkata for the first time yesterday, but further shows have stalled.