Former I&B minister accuses ministry of ‘crude censorship’

Former information and broadcasting (I&B) minister Manish Tewari on Tuesday termed the Centre’s removal of two films from an upcoming film festival as ‘extremely unfortunate’, and called out the ministry for practicing ‘crude censorship’.

“A very crude censorship is being practised by the I&B ministry. This has never happened in the past,” Tewari told ANI, and added, “The I&B ministry which should be the institution that upholds the freedom of speech and expression has now become the slayer of the freedom of speech and expression.”

Overriding the decision of a 13-member jury, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting today pulled out Malayalam movie ‘S Durga’ and Marathi film ‘Nude’ from the 48th edition of a film festival, to be held in Goa from November 20-28.

Subsequently, filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh resigned as head of the jury of International Film Festival of India’s (IFFI) Indian Panorama section.

Tewari also condemned the row over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie, Padmavati, and commented that “allowing mobocracy to dictate statutory decisions especially relating to creativity is extremely unfortunate.”

The period drama starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, and Shahid Kapoor has been facing protests from various communal groups, including Shree Rajput Karni Sena, for allegedly tampering with historical facts.

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