The Regional Office of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in Thiruvananthapuram has refused to give the nod to the Malayalam film ‘Varthamanam’ based on the backdrop of students’ protests at Jawaharlal Nehru (JNU) University in New Delhi. The film is directed by iconic filmmaker Siddharth Siva and the award-winning actress Parvati Thiruvot plays the lead role in it.
The story of this film revolves around a woman from Kerala who goes to JNU campus from her home state for research work. Filmmaker and screenwriter Aryadan Shaukat said that the CBFC officials have not given any reason for not giving the certificate. He said that the film will be sent to the review committee of the Censor Board based in Mumbai for the salute letter this week. Shaukat is also a Congress leader.
Aryadan Shaukat said, “The CBFC officials here just informed us that the film has to be sent to the revision committee. We do not yet know why the film was not given the certificate.” The award-winning screenwriter said that he studied and researched several months before writing the screenplay and spent several days in Delhi to get acquainted with the culture and lifestyle of the JNU campus.
No approval to show the film due to political reasons
Shaukat said, “If we do not get the approval of the censor board before December 31, we cannot send the film for an award this time. He expressed doubts that the film was not approved for political reasons.” He also referred to the recent tweet of a member of the censor board, who is the state vice president of the BJP’s SC Morcha.
Political people in censor board
Shaukat said, “Censor board member and lawyer V Sandeep Kumar recently tweeted that the approval was not given because Aryadan Shaukat is the script writer and producer.” He said, “Many political people have been appointed in the censor board, who have no understanding of cinema.” He also shared a screenshot of the controversial tweet of a regional censor board member on his Facebook page.
The censor board was against the film
This tweet of Sandeep Kumar was later deleted. In it, Kumar had said that he was against the green signal to the film as a board member. Kumar had tweeted, “As a member of the censor board, I watched the current film. The theme of the film was based on (alleged) atrocities on Muslims and Dalits in JNU protests. I opposed it.” He wrote, “Because Shaukat is its screenwriter and producer. The subject matter of the film is undoubtedly anti-national. “
Talk of democratic movement
Shaukat questioned through a Facebook post criticizing Kumar that if a film raises a case of students protest in Delhi campus or talks about any democratic movement in the country, how did it become anti-national. Sources in the film told PTI Language here that two members of the censor board associated with the film industry supported the film and wanted to approve it to be shown, but two other political members opposed it.
Attempts were made to contact the censor board officials, but they were not available for comment.