Kolkata: The censor
board has denied approval to a Bengali film for "distorting
history" by ridiculing the swearing-in ceremony of West Bengal
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as well as her Singur movement
which caused Tata Motors exit from the state.
A member of the board's regional revising committee, however,
cited the "obscene and abusive language" in the movie as the
reason behind denial of clearance for it.
"Kangal Malsat (Beggars' war cry)", based on a Nabarun
Bhattacharya novel of the same name, and directed by Suman
Mukhopadhyay, has also been refused certification for
"irresponsibly portraying" Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.
Mukhopadhyay, alleging "political motivation" behind the move,
claimed that the censor board's objection against Stalin is a
"cover-up as it does not want to allow a movie which is a
burlesque on Banerjee's dream to turn Kolkata into London".
"The movie is a burlesque and takes satirical hit on Kolkata
turning London as well as Tata's (Motors) departure from Singur.
The decision to disallow my movie is politically motivated," he
"It is dangerous for a democratic state to act in such a manner
where artists cannot be allowed to express their views freely,"
The censor board, in its letter to Mukhopadhyay, has raised three
"The portrayal of Stalin is so irresponsibly done in the film that
the dogmatic statement may hurt the sentiments of many Stalinists
in the country and may create unrest on public screening," the
"The way 'Departure of Tata Company' has been uttered in the film,
it seems to malign or at least look down upon a significant
movement of a civic society."
"The way the Honb'le CM, Ms. Mamata Banerjee's oath-taking
ceremony has been shown seems distortion of history and may hurt
many common people of West Bengal and create sensation
(violence)," it added.
In the movie, a person is shown watching the swearing-in ceremony
dispassionately and later rebel Trinamool parliamentarian Kabir
Suman, who features in the movie, says: "The Tatas have cut a
sorry figure. Now there are so many committees. They are making
Kolkata into London..."
"Where in the world is a law that a person cannot watch a swearing
in ceremony dispassionately? Has every person watching it to be
jovial?" questions Mukhopadhyay.
Following allegation of forcible land acquisition by the erstwhile
Left Front government for a car manufacturing factory in Hooghly
district's Singur, Banerjee then in the opposition had led a
peasant movement against it, causing the government to abandon the
industrial project. Tata Motors subsequently shifted the project
Filmmaker Haranath Chakraborty, member of the censor board's
regional revising committee, rubbished claims of political
motivation behind denial of certification and said the movie is
full of "obscene and abusive language".
"There are no political reasons for denying certification to the
film. From the beginning to the end, almost all the characters use
offensive and abusive language," said Chakrabarty, one of the key
members of Banerjee's cultural think-tank.
"We asked the director to tone down the language but he refused.
Consequently, we had to deny the certification," added Chakrabarty.
Kabir Suman, refuting Chakrabarty's claims, said: "This is not the
first or the only movie which has abuses. There are numerous Hindi
movies which have such language and they have been allowed."