Censor Board Now Targets Documentary On Amartya Sen

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7:11 pm 13 Jul, 2017


The Censor Board, which has become a household name for stirring up controversies, has now objected to the use of certain words in a documentary made on Amartya Sen.

Amartya Sen, the first and the only Nobel Laureate for Economics from India, had delivered a lecture at Cornell University few years back where he spoke in great detail on the political and economic situation in India.

The documentary featured that speech and had certain words which attracted the attention of Censor Board.


The board has asked the documentary maker to beep out words like “cow”, “Gujarat”, “Hindi” and “Hindutva”. The documentary titled ‘The Argumentative Indian’ is based on the book of the same name written by Sen.


Suman Ghosh, the maker of the documentary and an economist from West Bengal, commented:

“It (CBFC) asked me to bleep out the word ‘Gujarat’ as Sen was speaking on the Gujarat riots in the documentary. Then it asked me to bleep out the word ‘cow’, which, in my opinion, was very funny. We were also asked to bleep out words like Hindu and Hindutva. We objected to this.”

Cover of the book written by Sen. Slideshare

The hour-long documentary took 15 years in making and was shot in two parts: first in 2002 and second in 2017. It was slated to be released on Friday. However, the board halted the release and asked Ghosh to beep out the objectionable words in order to get the desired certification.

Ghosh refused to beep out a single word and said:

“I will not bleep out a single word in the documentary. There is a process and we will follow the process. Let’s see what happens and how far I can go with this.”


The censor board said that they have a hand-written complaint against the use of these words in the documentary which stated that use of such words will hurt the sentiments of a particular community.

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