Filmmaker Ashok Pandit is enraged with the Central Board Of Film Certification. Reason: They have asked for cuts in his documentary, Village Of Widows. Pandit informs that the two sequences that he has been asked to delete from his documentary, produced by Madhur Bhandarkar, are late Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto delivering an anti-India speech propagating terrorism in Kashmir against India and the Indian flag shown burning.
“Benazir Bhuto’s speech is taken from the actual recording which has been telecast by news channels years ago. The National Flag was burnt there at that time, so we’ve incorporated that footage too. I don’t understand what issue the Censor Board has with the footage,” rues Pandit, also a Kashmiri, who has been following up on terrorism issue back home for years.
“I want to highlight the problem from a woman’s perspective. In the Kupwara district, there’s a village called Dardpura, inhabited by women and orphans only. There’s not a single man because the women are widows of terrorists,” Pandit informs.
He reiterates that he only wants to focus on how women look at terrorism and how they suffer for no fault of their own. “Some of the widows are wives of policemen who died in terrorist encounters. The government is doing nothing for them. Left with no choice, they are forced into prostitution. As a filmmaker, I’m trying to bring their plight to the surface,” says Pandit adding that making the documentary has not been easy since the territory is infested with terrorists. “My crew members risked their lives to shoot the documentary.”
Attributing the non-cooperation to bureaucratic attitude of the Censor Board, Pandit says, “They need to act with maturity and understand that we’re trying to take a stand against terrorism. Madhur has also assured me that he will meet top leaders, if possible even Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and resolve matters.”
Pandit, refusing to incorporate the cuts, has approached the Appellate Tribunal against the revised committee’s decision.