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News Assam

Jahnu Barua withdraws film from state awards in protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill

The filmmaker's 2018 feature Bhoga Khirikee (Broken Window) was nominated for the Assam state awards.

Our Correspondent

Filmmaker Jahnu Barua has pulled out of the Assam state film awards in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill that was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday 9 September.

Barua's 2018 feature Bhoga Khirikee (Broken Window) was among the nominees for the awards.

The Padma Bhushan awardee and National award-winner told the Indian Express newspaper, "People don’t realize the implications this bill can have 50 years later. It is dangerous and that’s why I have decided to withdraw my film."

Talking to the Press Trust of India news agency, the director said, "I am very unhappy at the ongoing situation regarding the bill. This bill should not have happened. We believed the leadership, but they are not trying to understand us. In such a situation, I do not want to participate in such a programme." 

The eighth Assam State Film Awards and Film Festival is set to take place later this month on 26 and 27 December.

Barua added, "We have already broken our society. This will further tear us apart. I feel that just because of power, the political class is disrobing the motherland. We simply cannot do it."

Bhoga Khirikee is the first Assamese film produced by Priyanka Chopra and was released in theatres in October 2018.

In protesting, Barua joins a group of artistes and filmmakers like Onir, Siddharth and composer Vishal Dadlani in raising their voices against the amendment that seeks to confer Indian citizenship on some refugees and illegal immigrants, choosing them for the privilege on religious grounds.