Row over denial of certification to Malayalam film

Parvathy plays a JNU researcher in ‘Varthamanam.’  

The denial of certification to Malayalam film Varthamanam by the regional office of the Central Board of Film Certification and a tweet by a member of the board citing reasons for the same has kicked up a row. The film, directed by Sidhartha Siva and written by Congress leader Aryadan Shoukath, stars Parvathy as a researcher in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), studying the life of freedom fighter Mohammed Abdur Rahiman.

Mr. Shoukath told The Hindu that the CBFC officials had only informed him that it had to be sent to the revising committee.

“They have denied us certification without citing any reason. But what surprised me was a tweet by one of the members who seemed to suggest that censorship was denied because it was written by me. This sets a dangerous trend of judging a film based on the writer’s or director’s clan or religion, instead of judging the film. It is a film which speaks the message that humans should remain united beyond the borders of religion or caste. We will do everything to ensure that people get to see this film,” said Mr. Shoukath.

Tweet deleted

In a tweet, which has now been deleted, censor board member V. Sandeep Kumar, who is also the BJP SC Morcha State vice president, said, “Today, I watched the movie Varthamanam as a member of the censor board. Its subject was the oppression of Dalits and Muslims in the JNU agitation. I opposed that. Because, Aryadan Shoukath is the scriptwriter and producer of the film. Surely, the film’s theme is anti-national.” The regional officials of the CBFC were unavailable for comment.

Mr. Shoukath said that the censor board now had several political appointees who had no knowledge of cinema.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 2:35:32 AM |

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