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Kangal cuts Left lash, CM oath

Kangal Malsat director Suman Mukhopadhyay has agreed to delete footage showing Mamata Banerjee taking oath as chief minister, remove expletives from dialogues and tone down the film’s attack on the Left after meeting officials of the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal in Delhi on Tuesday afternoon.

“The tribunal had no objection to the footage (of the oath-taking ceremony) or the chief minister’s depiction, but under the CBFC regulations, one cannot take the real names of political parties. Hence, the portion in the film with dialogues about the Left losing and Trinamul coming to power will have to be omitted. The following scene, showing Mamata Banerjee taking oath, will thus become redundant. I technically cannot keep the scene since I cannot take the real names of parties,” said Mukhopadhyay on Tuesday.

“This is not as much a compromise as adhering to all the CBFC’s objections would have been. I need the film to release and not lie in the cans,” Mukhopadhyay added.

The CBFC, under the I&B ministry, had refused to certify the film in January following a report by the state’s revising committee chaired by a member of the chief minister’s culture clan, Haranath Chakraborty. A film cannot release in India without a CBFC certificate.

The state panel report had cited “unnecessary use” of abusive language and sexuality, “casual” portrayal of “social movements” and “irresponsible” depiction of Stalin. It had also mentioned that the way “Departure of Tata Company” has been “uttered” and Mamata shown taking oath might cause “unrest” or “violence”. Mukhopadhyay had appealed to the tribunal to overrule the CBFC.

According to Mukhopadhyay, the tribunal overruled most of the charges against the film, based on a Nabarun Bhattacharya novel. “They had other issues to discuss instead. They felt the Left had been attacked violently and if that was not changed, there might be a law-and-order problem.”

After toning down the attacks on the Left, “removing some of the cuss words” and deleting the oath footage, the director will submit a copy of his film to the CBFC “by Monday” for verification.