Suman Ghosh’s documentary The Argumentative Indian, which features conversations between Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and economist Kaushik Basu, has run into trouble with the Central Bureau of Film Certification. The censor board has demanded the excision of Sen’s use of the words, “Cow”, “Gujarat”, “Hindutva view of India” and “Hindu India”, according to a report in The Telegraph. Ghosh had submitted the film for certification to the CBFC’s Kolkata office, and he has been told that he will be given a U/A certificate only after he drops these words.
Ghosh has refused, telling the newspaper, “The attitude of the censor board just underlines the relevance of the documentary in which Sen highlights the growing intolerance in India.” The director has expressed shock at the censor board’s reaction, adding that he would never “beep or mute or change anything that one of the greatest minds of our times has said in the documentary”.
Suman Ghosh shot The Argumentative Indian in two parts in 2002 and 2017. The film, which takes its title from Sen’s 2005 book of essays, is a sequel of sorts to Ghosh’s 2011 documentary Amartya Sen: A Life Reexamined, which explores the life and work of the public intellectual and academic.