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

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

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.

Irfan Habib
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
Sashi Kumar
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
Zoya Hasan
C.P.Chandrasekhar
Aditya Mukherjee
Ashok Nath Basu
Indira Chandrasekhar
Vishwa Mohan Jha
Sukumar Muralidharan
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
Nadeem Rezavi
Shamim Akhtar
Indira Arjun Dev
Mohan Rao
Jayati Ghosh
Nancy Adajania
Veer Munshi
Abhilasha Kumari
Romi Khosla
Neeraj Malik
Javed Malick
Zafar Agha
Madhu Prasad
Kalpana Sahni
Amar Farooqui
B.P.Sahu
R.P.Bahuguna
Shakti Kak
Sarah Hashmi
Moggallan Bharti
Rahul Verma
N.K.Sharma

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