Director to bypass censor board, release film on Kashmir online today

Ashvin KumarNEW DELHI: Oscar nominated director Ashvin Kumar whose previous films ran into controversy with the Censor Board has chosen to release his latest film Inshallah Kashmir: Living Terror online on the 63rd Republic Day.

The film that raises the issue of human rights violations in Kashmir is based on interviews of over 50 people who have been victims of terror.The 82-minute film will be available online for 24 hours. Accusing the Censor Board of acting as a “moral conscience of society” the filmmaker said he wanted to challenge the manner in which the Board had become a “Soviet style censorship body.”

“The film contains shocking, heart-wrenching stories of the effects of brutality and terror by Indian armed forces and militants alike. Its prequel Inshallah, Football was given an adult certificate by the Censor Board. Another film of mine Dazed In Doon (based on life in Doon School) was forbidden for screening, exhibition or distribution by a Dehradun court. So I have decided to bypass the censor board and release my film online for a day tomorrow,” Kumar said.He says he has not approached the Censor Board for his latest movie, which was culled from the footage filmed while researching and making Inshallah, Football.

“My aim is to make the film into a case study on censorship in India. If the board okays it, it’s fantastic. Else, we will put it online and seek viewers’ opinion on the film. Last option is DVDs, which is the case with Inshallah, Football, and, of course, the Internet,” says Kumar, who was nominated for an Oscar in the Live Action Short Films category for his film Little Terrorist in 2005.

One does not need the Censor Board’s approval for releasing films online in India. Cyberlaw expert Pavan Duggal said that while Kumar would break no law by putting an original piece of work online, authorities could take action if they felt that the content uploaded was inflammatory. – TOI