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HomeNewsCBFC censors 'Hindu', 'Gujarat' from Bengali film

CBFC censors ‘Hindu’, ‘Gujarat’ from Bengali film

It appears that Sada Ronger Prithibi mentions both 'Gujarat' and 'Hindu' either sarcastically or disapprovingly through dialogues by its characters

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The Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) has disapproved of a reference to Gujarat in the Bengali film Sada Ronger Prithibi (The World Coloured White). The film, which is based on a true story of widow trafficking in the city of Varanasi, stars Trinamool Congress leader Ananya Bannerjee in the lead role. The CBFC has recommended two cuts in the film. One recommendation asks the makers to “remove the reference to Hindu” while the other asks them to “remove all the community references to Hindu”.

Where CBFC objected

There is a part in the film where actress Ananya Banerjee remarks sarcastically on what is “unparliamentary” as she says, “Karon sab Parliament-er niyom maphik hole deshta Gujarat hoye jeto.” The CBFC objected to the statement, asking the filmmakers to “delete the remarks on a state of the parliamentary system…” where an actor says, “If everything were to happen following rules, the whole country would be Gujarat (translation of the sentence in Bengali above).”

The film uses the word “Hindu” for the first time in a scene where Devlina Kumar says, “Maa-Baba bollo dwayitwo nebe na. Tokhon hawa ghurchhe janis. Hindu-Hindu korchhe sobbai. Shanku-da bollo Kashi chole ja… (My parents refused to protect me. Back then, there was a wave. Everyone was going ga-ga over being Hindu. Shanku-da asked me to flee to Kashi…).”

The word “Hindu” figures in the film again in a line mouthed by Sneha Chatterjee: “Power and politics. Setai amader chai. Ki peyechhi Hindu hoye? Tule ene challan! (Power and politics. That’s what we want. What have we got by being Hindu? Lifted and penalised).”

The makers of Sada Ronger Prithibi accepted the other eight cuts. The film is releasing with an A rating on Tuesday. Director Raajhorshee De grudgingly accepted the cuts and did not approach the revising committee since that would have upset the release plans.

Though the regional officer of the CBFC was unavailable for comment, a source in the ‘censor board’ said, “The examining committee spent seven hours going through all the controversial scenes. The cuts were only suggested to ensure that social parity is not damaged when the film is exhibited. He was given the option of approaching the revising committee.”

Director begrudges CBFC its job

The director, unhappy with the transparency of the process, said, “I was grilled for five hours on Feb 13 by examining committee members Nilanajan Roy, Keya Ghosh, Rakesh Das and Ayan Banerjee in the presence of Sushrut Sharma. I was surprised when Ghosh, a member of the Bengal BJP, asked me why I had shown a character wearing dreadlocks. I had to refer to Bob Marley and Samson Delilah to convince her that there was nothing derogatory in using dreadlocks.”

Six years ago, the CBFC had asked the makers of a documentary on economist Amartya Sen by Suman Ghosh to mute the word “Gujarat”.

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