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Jahnu Barua withdraws ‘Bhoga Khirikee’ from film festival in protest against Citizenship Bill

Filmmaker Jahnu Barua. | File

Filmmaker Jahnu Barua. | File  

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The Assamese filmmaker said that leaders are “disrobing the motherland” only because of power politics

National Award-winning filmmaker Jahnu Barua on Tuesday said he has withdrawn his film Bhoga Khirikee (Broken Window) from the upcoming Assam State Film Awards and Film Festival in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB).

Expressing anguish over the ongoing unrest across Assam and North East, the Padma Bhushan awardee said that the leaders are “disrobing the motherland” only because of power politics.

Also read: Editorial | Unequal, unsecular: On Citizenship Amendment Bill

“I am very unhappy at the ongoing situation regarding the Bill. This Bill should not have happened. We believed the leadership, but they are not trying to understand us. In such a situation, I do not want to participate in such a programme,” Mr. Barua told PTI.

The 8th Assam State Film Awards and Film Festival, 2019 is scheduled to take place on December 26 and 27 in Guwahati.

Stating that he has always protested against the hugely controversial Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday midnight, the eminent film director said that there will be no existence of Assamese after 50-100 years if the CAB is implemented. “The Assamese community is language centric. There are people from all religions and we want to remain like this. Language is everything for us. If we lose that, then what will happen? As an artist, I can clearly see what is going to happen,” he added.

Mr. Barua also remembered the glorious past of Assam and mentioned the founder of Ahom kingdom Chaolung Sukaphaa and Vaishnavite scholar Srimanta Sankardev, who “defeated the outside force and gifted a beautiful community”.

“We have already broken our society. This will further tear apart us. I feel that just because of power, the political class is disrobing the motherland. We simply cannot do it,” the filmmaker asserted.

‘Bhoga Khirikee’, which was produced by actor Priyanka Chopra, was released in October last year across Assam and other parts of the country.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill piloted by Union Home Minister Amit Shah was passed in the Lok Sabha on late Monday night.

The Bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis entering India on or before December 31, 2014 from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after five years of residence here even if they do not possess any document.

Normal life came to a halt on Tuesday in Assam’s Brahmaputra Valley due to a state-wide bandh called by two students’ organisations in protest against the Bill.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 11:24:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/jahnu-barua-withdraws-bhoga-khirikee-from-film-festival-in-protest-against-citizenship-bill/article30265363.ece

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