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‘Freedom of Speech’ Is Good Modiji, but What About Indian Censors?

India is still dealing with ‘censorship’ of films – often as brutal as Udta Punjab’s.

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From an elevated podium at Capitol Hill, Narendra Modi spoke. And the rapt US Congressmen listened, even applauded, multiple times.

The Prime Minister called upon the ideals of freedom and democracy – quite repeatedly – as part of the many similarities India and the US share.

However, back home, his words seemingly sound nothing short of tall claims.

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Far from replicating the US, where certification and not censorship is the practice, India’s Censor Board wants to (brutally) axe Udta Punjab – a film that tackles the drug mess of the northern state.

The association headed by Pahlaj Nihalani, who was reportedly appointed by the Prime Minister himself and is often considered to be the ruling party’s “mouthpiece”, has recommended 89 cuts to the film.

Nihalani also reportedly takes pride in being “Modi ka chamcha,” a claim very few would have trouble believing after the infamous ‘Modi Kaka’ video, where Nihalani declared his public love for the PM.
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In the past couple of weeks, the clipping of Udta Punjab’s wings has opened a raging debate between two factions: supporters of freedom of expression, and those who want to curb one of India’s fundamental rights.

So, is PM Modi really practicing what he preaches?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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