I&B Ministry now bans documentary on beef

The Hindu, 30 October 2015

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has banned the screening of a documentary film on beef eating practices, which was slated to be screened at the Jeevika Asia Livelihood Documentary Festival 2015.“The film was supposed to be screened on Saturday at the festival in New Delhi, but we were informed by the organisers that we would need a censor certificate,” Atul Anand, one of the filmmakers, told The HinduThe film titled “Caste on the Menu Card” is about beef eating practices in Mumbai.

“Documentaries for public screening require an exemption certificate, which exempts you from having a censor certificate. We sent 35 films, but the Ministry rejected ‘Caste on the Menu Card’.

An official communicated to us verbally that the documentary might be harmful in political and religious ways. We were really keen on this film as it is about a livelihood issue,” Snigdha Verma, one of the festival organisers, told The Hindu.“The Ministry had a problem with the mention of beef in the synopsis,” Mr. Anand said.

Its synopsis says, “The film delves into the idea of food as a site of exclusion, by focusing on beef-eating practices in Mumbai. It attempts to portray the prevalence of caste differentiations as seen in the food choices of people in the city, and touches upon concerns related to livelihood, social inclusion and human rights. By tracing the mythological and historical roots of the meat-eating culture in our country, the film discusses the hierarchy maintained by Brahminical preferences and its intended subversions. This is seen in the stand taken on dealing with the political economy of the leather and meat industries.”

Read the story on The Hindu website.