Bhandarkar's docu on Kashmir widows irks Censor Board

MUMBAI: Madhur Bhandarkar‘s upcoming documentary Village of Widows is stuck within the corridors of the Censor Board (CB). After the first viewing of the documentary, CB officials had raised their eyebrows on two important portions of the film and referred the film to its Reviewing Committee.

On its part, the committee staunchly asked for two major portions to be chopped off for it to get a clearance certificate. One is the footage of slain former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto giving an anti-India speech and propagating terrorism against India by which she advocates the need of freedom of Kashmir from India. The other one is where the Indian national flag is shown being burnt in Kashmir. 

Questions director Ashoke Pandit, "None of the said footage is a figment of anybody‘s imagination or work of fiction. I copied the footage from TV grabs and inserted it in my film. These scenes are only a repeat of what occurred earlier. Tomorrow, if some film incorporates the effects of the dastardly acts of the Maoists, would they ask for the scenes to be deleted?"

Village of Widows is based in a small village Kubwara located atop a mountain on the Indian side of the Indo-Pak border. This village has only widows and orphans as all the men have been abducted and taken across the border to take part in anti-Indian activities and become terrorists, Pandit says.

"While the women there resort to begging or indulge in all sorts of illicit activities to make their living, the children are mere spectators of the hapless conditions all around," Pandit reveales.

"The main cause of my making the film was to make people aware of the ground realities. By this, I wanted some organisation to adopt these 150 odd orphans and guide them the right way lest they turn against the country when they grow up," adds Bhandarkar.

Pandit says, "We have made this documentary with a cause and come what may, I will not allow any of the scenes to be deleted."

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