The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has come under heavy criticism after a review committee of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) issued a “refusal certificate” to a film for “distorting history” by ridiculing the chief minister’s swearing-in ceremony and the Singur movement.
The film, “Kangal Malsat”, directed by Suman Mukhopadhyay, was denied approval for being critical of the Trinamool government and for the way in which the departure of the Tata’s was portrayed.
A letter issued by the review committee said, “The way the departure of the Tata Company was shown in the film seemed to malign or at least look down upon a significant movement of civic society.”
The review committee under the chairmanship of filmmaker Harananth Chakraborty, who is considered to be close to Banerjee and works as a bridge between the state government and the artistes of Tollygunje, observed: “The way in which the swearing-in ceremony was shown, seems to portray distorted history. It may hurt the sentiments of the people of West Bengal and create a sensation (violence).”
Suman Mukhopadhyay hit out at the state government by saying: “There is no reference to Singur. The ban is without a cause. This government was supposed to bring about change, but the ban on this movie is sheer madness and it proves that there is no freedom of expression.”
“As a filmmaker, my primary responsibility is to show contemporary events. And I have the right not only as a filmmaker but as a citizen to speak about my opinion on political events. So I don’t know the reason behind this moral policing,” Mukhopadhyay said.
Challenging the decision to ban his film, Mukhopadhyay approached the Film Certification
Appellate Tribunal which will hear him on March 4.
Earlier, the state government had also clamped down on the screening of “Teen Kanya” (Three Girls) for portraying the controversial Park Street rape and also the story of the IPS officer reminding the audience of Damayanti Sen.