Social activists in Goa have expressed indignation over the dropping of a short film Inkilab , based on Bhagat Singh, from the ongoing 42nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) although it was a unanimous selection of the panel of selectors for the Short Film Centre for the IFFI.

The film was refused censor certificate for its alleged anti-national contents.

Meenaxi Martins, a member of the panel, and advocate Satish Sonak, Goa convenor of India Against Corruption, told The Hindu here on Friday that the booklet published by the Short Film Centre with synopsis of the films screened for international competition describes Inkilab as follows: “In the digital age where megabyte is the new dynamite, and the power of ideas cannot be ignored, this is an experiment in the lab of thoughts…”

Sources said the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had suggested nine cuts in the short film by Chandigarh-based filmmaker Gaurav Chhabra, saying its contents were anti-national.

Mr. Chhabra, however, defended his portrayal and refused to budge.

The short film, inspired by the landmark Assembly bombing by Bhagat Singh in 1929, was part of the Short Film Centre

Mr. Chhabra, quoting his communication with the CBFC, said the board had refused him certificate saying the film violated Section 5B of the Cinematographic Act 1952. The section bars a movie with visuals or words promoting communal, obscurantist, anti-scientific and anti-national sentiments.