In the latest saga, the CBFC according to its recent trends has stalled the release of the documentary The Argumentative Indian by film-maker Suman Ghosh.
The documentary is based on Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and the reasons that are coming out for the film being withheld are bizarre and obnoxious, the Central Board of Film Certification has verbally told the filmmaker to mute four words, including ‘cow’, in his documentary, the director said. According to PTI the four words the CBFC wants to mute are ‘Gujarat’, ‘cow’, ‘Hindutva view of India’ and ‘Hindu India’ for getting a U/A certificate. With the director expressing his inability naturally the film has not been allowed to release.
The question that arises here is that if a person of such international stature cannot express his views or is barred from expressing his views on any topic then who else in this country would be?
Probably this is because of the politics of exclusion that is followed by the Central Government in this country. In the recent past, this is not the first time a film has come under this kind of pseudo-moral (backed by political agenda) policing but movies like Udta Punjab, Lipstick Under My Burkha has also faced similar troubles. In another case, documentaries like March March March has also faced similar ban in the recently concluded Kerala Film Festival. With these unethical policing the signal is loud and clear for the citizens that there is no space for debate, dissent, and inclusionary politics in this country. According to sources, in the documentary, Sen speaks of development economics, social choice theory philosophy and the rise of right-wing nationalism across the world, including India. Many eminent personalities have stood against this decision of the CBFC and have supported the director.
What narrative does the CBFC want to disseminate out of this? Is it that we should not speak about the rise of institutionalized hooliganism in the country? Or is it that we should refrain from speaking against the agenda of the BJP-RSS of deriving electoral gains from communal flares? Let us face the writing on the wall and that is citizens of the country must abide by the preaching of BJP. Failure to do so will lead to banishment of sorts.