A Malayalam film directed by US based director Jayan Cheriyan about the plight of India’s dalits, or ‘untouchable’ caste, has been banned by the country’s Central Board of Film Certification for portraying the country’s independence campaigner Mahatma Ghandi in a bad light, including calling him gay.
From The Asian Age.
The Central Board of Film Certification has banned a Malayalam film directed by US-based NRI director Jayan Cheriyan from public screening citing that the film portrayed Mahatma Gandhi in bad light, among other reasons. However, Cheriyan, while speaking to this newspaper from the US, maintained that his film was a “pro-dalit movie inspired by real life events and characters” from the contemporary Kerala society.
The board, while refusing certificate to film Papilio Buddha, stated that it could “not be certified in its present form even with excisions (and) cuts.”
In a written statement to the producer of the film, Prakash Bare, the board observed that the film contained “visuals and dialogues denigrating Mahatma Gandhi, such as garlanding the effigy of Gandhiji with chappals and then burning the effigy, referring to Gandhiji as a person with homosexual inclination, cheating dalits and harijans (sic).”
It also said that the film contained visuals of extreme violence against a woman, including disrobing, gangrape and showing disrespect to the body of the victim, besides the scenes of extreme police torture under custody and torture of a woman by the police causing bleeding and miscarriage. The board also objected to the cinema’s “extremely filthy language” and the “visuals (that are) likely to incite religious discord and unrest”.
It observed that the film contained visuals of burning of portraits of social leaders like Ayyanakali and policeman showing disrespect to the idols of Buddha and calling cast names in a derogatory manner.
Cheriyan, whose documentaries have been screened at several international film festivals, however, called the ban on his film “an autocratic act by the government on the freedom of expression of a group of artists”.Watch Papilio Buddha official trailer below.
'A group of displaced untouchables in Western Ghats of India embrace Buddhism in order to escape from caste oppression.
Papilio Buddha probes the new identity politics based on Ambedkarism, gaining momentum among the Dalits in the region, in the milieu of an ongoing land struggle.'