Kamal Swaroop’s take on the high-pitched 2014 Narendra Modi-Arvind Kejriwal poll battle in Varanasi has been denied the nod by Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) as it felt the documentary may cause “communal disharmony”.
The makers, who had approached FCAT after censor board refused to certify “Battle for Banaras”, are now planning to move the High Court.
“After having viewed the film and having heard the parties, we are of the opinion that the CBFC was justified in
refusing to grant certificate for exhibition of the film for the reasons that the theme of the film was full of hate/inflammatory speeches given by all the leaders of the political parties and it tries to divide people on caste and communal lines and derogatory remarks have been made against the individuals,” FCAT said in its judgement.
“The release of the film may cause not only communal disharmony but also disharmony among the members of different castes and communities. It clearly violates the guidelines for certification for films of public exhibition… The appeal is accordingly dismissed,” the judgement said.
When contacted, the documentary’s producer Manu Kumaran said, “We vehemently disagree with the tribunal’s decision. We will take this to the High Court to protect our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.”
Shot over a period of 44 days during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, “Battle for Banaras” is a behind-the-scene look at the high-octane poll battle in Modi’s parliamentary constituency.