A hundred cuts, and no "Patidar" or "Ambedkar", orders CBFC in Gujarati film!

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on January 20, 2018


The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)--not a censoring authority as the court says—never refuses to amuse: even as it was embroiled in the “Udta Punjab” controversy, it also advised a Gujarati filmmaker to effect nearly a hundred cuts and remove words like “Patidar” and “Ambedkar” from the movie based on last year’s mass agitation by the Patidar community demanding reservation in educational institutions and government jobs.

The low-budget film, “Salagato Sawal: Anamat” (The Burning Question: Reservation) was originally slated to be released on June 17, the same day as “Udta Punjab”, and it dealt with the larger issue of reservation, said Jaypratapsing Chauhan, co-producer. With so many cuts ordered last week, it is not certain when the film will now be released as decision of a review committee is awaited.

He said CBFC even questioned the “motives” of filmmakers for choosing this particular issue, that had put the ruling BJP on the mat for months last year, and also the alleged “resemblance” of its protagonist to the agitation leader, Hardik Patel, who is behind bars facing charges of “sedition”. The Board also directed that the words “Patidar” and “Ambedkar” be removed from the film, besides content bearing similarity with the pro-quota agitation.

Although the Board was informed that the film was not exactly based on Hardik, CBFC maintained that the character of the protagonist resembled that of Hardik who should not be glorified. The film, he said, is based on Dipak Patel, a youth facing problems due to the existing reservation system. Another character is based on Alpesh Thakore, an OBC leader agitating in support of reservation.

“If we cut out what CBFC wants us to, the film will lose its very soul. We are, therefore, contemplating to move the court.”

Published on June 15, 2016

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