UIDAI Demands 28 Cuts Even After CBFC Passes 'Aadhaar' Film
CBFC passed Vineet Kumar Singh's Aadhaar film in 2019.
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Filmmaker Suman Ghosh's Aadhaar was scheduled to release on 5 February, 2021, but it looks like the film won't be seeing the light of day any time soon and it's not just because of the ongoing lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to reports, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has demanded 28 cuts in the film Aadhaar co-produced by Jio Studios and Drishyam Films. Starring Vineet Kumar Singh, Saurabh Shukla, Raghubir Singh Yadav, Alka Amin, Sanjay Mishra and others, Aadhaar has already been passed by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in 2019.
Speaking to the Times of India, Ghosh says that officials at the UIDAI asked for a screening of Aadhaar after the film's trailer released in January. After a screening of Aadhaar was arranged for the officials in February, they verbally demanded a list of 28 cuts.
Aadhaar revolves around a villager named Pharsua, who becomes the first person in his village Jamua to receive the Aadhaar card while the rest of the villagers eye the new government initiative with suspicion. However, due to a prediction made by the village priest and his superstitious nature, Pharsua soon has to run from pillar to post to get his Aadhaar ID number changed.
According to the report, the 28 cuts include scenes like these:
Pharsua declaring "Main Aadhaar hoon" to a crowd a villagers, this is a play on the title of Amitabh Bachchan's film Main Azaad Hoon.
A dialogue in which a villager is trying to understand the privacy issues linked to Aadhaar. "Sarkar kya hamare ghusalkhaane mein ghus jaayenge?" he asks (will the government enter our bathrooms?).
A man trying to get his cataract removed for Aadhaar biometrics.
As of now the trailer of Aadhaar has also been taken off YouTube by the makers. It's not clear if this has been done in view of the objections by UIDAI against the film.
How can government officials who have no understanding of metaphor, allegory or satire in a film issue diktats, is filmmaker Ghosh's concern. In 2017, Ghosh ran into trouble with the CBFC for his documentary on Amartya Sen titled The Argumentative Indian. Though the CBFC demanded several cuts in the film, Ghosh approached the review committee following which his documentary was cleared with just one cut.
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Topics: Aadhaar UIDAI Vineet Kumar Singh
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