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Mumbai: The Modi government, under fire for rising intolerance and violence related to eating beef, has allegedly disallowed permission for the airing of a documentary on beef-eating practices made by students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
Hindustan Times reports that the film, ‘Caste on the Menu Car’’, was selected in the student films competition category in the ’12th Jeevika: Asia Livelihood Documentary Festival’, to be held at Siri Fort Auditorium on Friday.
The festival organisers claim they received a notice from the I&B ministry stating that they cannot screen the film.
Sources in I&B ministry told HT that the filmmakers had not provided sufficient information on it so that it could be cleared. “There are certain rules to be followed for a film to be screened, and it cannot be cleared on one or two line of information provided. We have asked for more information,” a senior official from the ministry said.
The organisers however claim that the synopsis of the film was sent to the I&B ministry two weeks ago, and it was assured the film would not ‘hurt religious sentiments’.
“We were told it will create problems if screened,” Snigdha Verma from Centre for Civil Society, the organisers of the Jeevika festival, told HT.
“We have not received any official intimation of denial of permission to screen the film, which was part of a class project. If it is the case, it reflects the culture of censorship that is unfortunately becoming the order of the day. As citizens who stand for freedom of expression and the right to eat food of one’s choice, we deplore this attempt to silence voices that are seen as uncomfortable,” said KP Jayashankar and Anjali Monteiro, guides of the students who made the film.
According to the law, any film that has to be screened at a public place needs censorship exemption certificate from the government, says HT. The film focuses on beef-eating practices in Mumbai.