Chitra Subramaniam| The News Minute| October 26, 2014| 8.00 pm IST
Bollywood actor Anupam Kher says he is “astounded” by the censoring of his reference to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits in a programme on Zee television that was telecast today to raise awareness and resources for the devastating floods in Kashmir.
“We were talking about human suffering, about what happens when people are uprooted as has happened with the floods – in that context I raised the suffering of Kashmiri Pundits and I don’t see any contradiction in what I said,” Kher told The News Minute (TNM) in an exclusive interview. “Speaking about one tragedy does not take away from the other,” he added.
The programme entitled #UmmeedEkashmir had guests which included other Bollywood stars like Aamir Khan and Farhan Akhtar.
“What makes it worse is that I had informed the producers of the programme that I would be reading a small portion from the book “Our Moon has Blood Clots” (by journalist Rahul Pandita) which detailed the terrible events that occurred 24 years ago,” he added.
The Kashmiri Pundits are an exiled community that has not been able to return home due to political instability and Hindu-Muslim riots in the valley. Kashmir is one of India’s deepest wounds, one that has evaded a political solution due to commission and omission by India’s political leaders playing to the galleries.
Kher said he was given eight minutes to speak and he spoke for nine. But, the programme clipped just the portions where he reads from the book. “It was very clumsy,” he said. At the time of writing it is not clear if the editing was done by the producers of the programme or Zee Television.
The actor has tweeted his interview which includes the edited portions. “If Vishal Bharadwaj can film a devil’s dance sequence on the Martand temple dedicated to the sun god and if that goes uncensored by the department of archeology as well as the film censor board what are we talking about – can someone film a similar dance sequence on a masjid?” asked Kher who is not known for mincing his words. That reference is to the film Haider which is shot in the Martand Temple in Kashmir dedicated to the Sun God.
See deleted part here.