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News English (India)

No Fathers In Kashmir director slams CBFC for ‘slashing, mutilating’ film, releases deleted footage

The footage includes moments that were muted, blurred or trimmed by the film certification board.

Our Correspondent

The makers of director Ashvin Kumar’s No Fathers In Kashmir, which was released on Friday, have released the scenes from the film which were either trimmed, muted or blurred by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

This includes the dialogue by Ashvin Kumar’s character who recalls how dogs used to take to the dead bodies of militants after they were killed by the army.

The words on a board saying ‘Martyred in the custody of Indian forces’ has been blurred. Similarly, a couple of dialogues by Kulbhushan Kharbanda’s character have been muted.

Ashvin Kumar, obviously, was not pleased with this. He slammed the CBFC in an official statement. “The first caption the censors made me place in front of the film says, ‘This film is inspired by the pervading militancy and terrorism in Kashmir.’ It is the most bizarre statement and I would never make a statement like that. It goes against the last 10 years of work that I have done in the Kashmir valley,” he said.

Ashvin Kumar claimed that it is because of the edits that he never felt like watching the movie in a theatre. “After eight months of waiting, I must admit I was totally mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. Having made us spend sleepless nights and run from hearing to hearing for nine months, they went about mutilating the film without either logic or legal justification.

"I have not yet seen my film in the theatre because I am deeply disheartened by what remains. It took me four years of hard work to make the film. It took the censors seven screenings and six hearings to slash, mutilate and compromise this labour of love,” he said.

No Fathers In Kashmir traces the story of a 14-year-old girl who comes from the UK and gets to know about her father who was taken away by security forces years ago, never to be seen again.

Ashvin Kumar also pointed out that the job of the CBFC is simply to certify films. “Kashmir is in a crisis of compassion. If we are to be compassionate to our fellow citizen in Kashmir, we have to start telling the truth. Censorship only produces hate, hostility, suspicion and fear in society. I just want to say that it is not films that create fear, it is censorship that creates fear,” the filmmaker said. 

Watch the deleted scenes here: