The Central Board of Film Certification has asked for several cuts in Award-winning filmmaker Anirban Datta’s historical documentary on Kolkata, including references to the Naxalite movement and the subsequent government crackdown, Hindustan Times reported. Titled Kalikshetra, the 56-minute film uses archaeological findings and historical references to chronicle the city’s history from one BC onwards.
The board has asked Datta to edit references to the 1946 Hindu Muslim riots in Calcutta, Partition, and the 1970-’72 period of the Naxalite movement, especially the Baranagar-Cossipore massacre in which hundreds of Maoists were allegedly killed in a government crackdown, the filmmaker said. The board also wanted Datta to cut out every reference to Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress party in relation to the Naxal period, he claimed.
“The CBFC has asked for five cuts, all unreasonable and ridiculous,” Datta told Hindustan Times. “They are trying to depoliticise the documentation of political events, which is unacceptable. I’ll ask for a review, and if still unsatisfied, I’ll move Film Certification Appellate Tribunal.” Kalikshetra was submitted to CBFC’s New Delhi office for certification.
Describing the project to Hindustan Times, Datta said he wants to highlight facets of the city before it became the capital of the British Raj in India. “Civilization existed in the place called Kolkata since the time of the thriving kingdom of Gangaridae, the valour of which has been frequently referred to in ancient Greek and Roman literatures,” he said. “However, people only know about the 300 years of colonial period, or at the most, up to the time of Manasamangal, which was penned during the Sena dynasty (11th-13th century).”
Datta’s diploma film at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, titled Tetris (2006), was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. He has also won National awards for his films Bhultir Khero (2007) and Bom (2011).