A Malayalam documentary on the Emergency, titled 21 Months of Hell, has been denied the censor certificate by the CBFC, citing ‘too much violence’ among other things in it, its director said. The 78-minute documentary deals with the alleged methods of torture employed by the police against detainees during the Emergency, the documentary director Yadu Vijayakrishnan, a cinema photographer by profession, told PTI.
The documentary mainly features interviews of “victims” of the Emergency along with the re-enactment of scenes of the alleged “tortures methods” recreated with actors, he said. Vijayakrishnan said the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)asked for proof of the torture methods used by police during the Emergency.
“Though there are testimonies of surviving victims and case reports, the Board wanted written government proof of the torture methods of that time”, Vijayakrishnan said. The documentary features only the torture methods rather than the whole political scenario of the country at that time, Vijayakrishnan said.
He claimed that he had a private screening of the documentary in September in New Delhi after getting special permission from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. But the CBFC denied the certificate, he said. The Emergency was in force in the country for 21 months from June 25, 1975 to 21 March 1977.
It came into force during the tenure of Indira Gandhi government and is regarded as the most controversial period in the Indian political history. During the Emergency, the civil liberties of the common man were withdrawn, press was censored and several number of politicians and other people were imprisoned.