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India: Statement by Academics, Artists and Cultural Activists condemning the censorship of Amartya Sen Film

13 July

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SAHMAT

Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust

29 Ferozshah Road

New Delhi-110001

Email: sahmat8[at]yahoo.com

Tel - 23381276/23070787

13.7.2017

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.

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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • C.P.Chandrasekhar
  • Aditya Mukherjee
  • Ashok Nath Basu
  • Indira Chandrasekhar
  • Vishwa Mohan Jha
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  • Sadanand Menon
  • A.J.Jawad
  • Ananya Vajpeyi
  • Malini Bhattacharya
  • Atlury Murali
  • Vikas Rawal
  • Javed Anand
  • Teesta Setalvad
  • K.L.Tuteja
  • Gopinath Ravindran
  • Sania Hashmi
  • Mohan Kumawat
  • Iqtidar Alam Khan
  • Ishrat Alam
  • Tani Bhargav
  • Rajeev Bhargav
  • Ramesh Rawat
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  • Veer Munshi
  • Abhilasha Kumari
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  • Madhu Prasad
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  • B.P.Sahu
  • R.P.Bahuguna
  • Shakti Kak
  • Sarah Hashmi
  • Moggallan Bharti
  • Rahul Verma
  • N.K.Sharma
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