India's film censors have ordered that a documentary about the economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen be altered to remove words including 'Hindu' 'India' and 'cow', the director has said.
Suman Ghosh said he was told by censor board officials that his one-hour documentary about Sen, a Harvard professor and essayist, could be released only if certain words were bleeped out. Those words reportedly included cow, Hindu India, Hindutva,
a reference to the religious nationalist ideology of India's ruling party, and Gujarat, the home state of the country's prime minister, Narendra Modi .
I was quite shaken, Ghosh said of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) decision, against which he said he would be appealing. I was shocked but I thought, I have to argue.
In the documentary, named after his book of essays The Argumentative Indian, Sen criticises what he sees as the restricted vision of India espoused by Modi's rightwing nationalist party. In one reportedly censored scene, Sen lauds the
value of vigorous argument and debate, in contrast to chastising people for having mistreated a cow or some such thing.