Maharahstra's Censor Board for Theatre has recommended 19 cuts to a Marathi play that depicts a fictional conversation between Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar (pictured above) and Mahatma Gandhi. The board found words such as Hindutva, Ramabai Nagar, and kutra (dog) in the play Jai Bhim, Jai Bharat objectionable and asked the authors to drop them, reported The Hindu.
The board has also asked the author to change "Khairlanji" to "Vairanjli", kutra to shwan, Mahar (a caste) to Dalit, Ramabai Nagar to Mirabai Nagar and Hindutva vadi to "those with power". It has even asked the writers to remove Dalit poet Namdeo Dhasal’s famous poem Gandu Bagicha from the play.
Arun Nalawade, chairman of the board, said, "We had asked the author to tone down the play. We all know what happened in places like Khairlanji and Ramabai Nagar. Reference to those places could have stoked a controversy by hurting sentiments of others." He added that since the authors were not ready to comply with the board's suggestions, the script has been sent to a three-member committee, which will submit its report on Thursday.
As many as 11 Dalits were killed when the police opened fire in Mumbai’s Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar in 1997 to disperse a crowd protesting the desecration of a statue of Dr BR Ambedkar. In Vidarbha’s Khairlanji village in 2006, a Dalit family of four was killed by upper-caste villagers.