Indian cattle traders wait for trucks to illegally transport their cattle into Tamil Nadu.

Modi sarkar has ‘beef’ with documentary, blocks airing at film festival

The Modi government, under fire for rising intolerance and violence related to eating beef, has allegedly disallowed permission for the airing of a documentary on beef-eating practices made by students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

The film titled “Caste on the Menu Card”, about the beef eating practices in Maharashtra, was to be screened on Saturday at the Jeevika Asia Livelihood Documentary Festival 2015, in Delhi. However, the makers of the movie say that they were informed by the organisers that they would need a censor certificate.

“Documentaries for public screening require an exemption certificate, which exempts you from having a censor certificate. We sent 35 films, but the information and broadcasting ministry rejected ‘Caste on the Menu Card’,” Snigdha Verma, one of the organisers of the festival was quoted by The Hindu.

The makers of the film — students of the School of Media and Cultural Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) — said the ministry’s decision has “shocked and upset” them.  We are shocked and upset after we came to know about this news. We made this documentary from August to September 2014, before beef was banned in Maharashtra. We took almost three months for making this documentary and it was sparked by a row on the TISS campus in 2014 after some students demanded that beef and pork be banned,” Atul Anand, one of the filmmakers was quoted as saying to the Indian Express.

Films screened at festivals like this usually are given an exemption from certification by the ministry, which allows them to be screened in public.

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