Suman Ghosh's documentary on Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has not got the nod from the censors who have raised objections to words like 'cow', 'Gujarat', 'Hindu' as well as 'Hindutva' used by the economist in an interview that is part of the film.
Ghosh has been asked by the censor board to mute these words in the documentary, "An Argumentative Indian", on the plea that their usage would "damage the country's image".
"They say these words, for example, 'Gujarat' have to be muted with a beep as Sen made some comments about the Gujarat riots. They also wanted that the word 'cow' be muted. I found these ridiculous," said Ghosh.
"They also wanted the expression 'Hindu India' and 'Hindutva' used by him during the interview to be muted with beeps. I find these bizarre."
Ghosh expressed shock over the censor recommendations.
"Well, we know what is happening in the country. Films like 'Udta Punjab', 'Lipstick under my Burkha' have generated controversies.
"But I could never quite imagine that a documentary which does not have a script, has been made without any script would face the same treatment.
"Moreover, when the words which have been uttered by a person of such international stature are being deleted, then it only shows up to what extent things can go. As a first hand witness to such a thing, I can only say I am a bit shocked."
The hour-long documentary, structured as a free flowing conversation between Sen and his student and Cornell economics professor Kaushik Basu, has already been screened in New York and London. It had a special screening in Kolkata on Monday.
The documentary was scheduled for release in a number of theatres on Friday.