India beef film removed from festival | The Daily Star
08:11 PM, October 30, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:18 PM, October 30, 2015

India beef film removed from festival

A documentary on beef eating habits in India has been withdrawn from a Delhi film festival for "technical" reasons, its organisers have said.

The film, Caste on the Menu Card, was the only film among the 35 sent to India's information and broadcasting ministry to be refused clearance.

Festival director Manoj Mathews told BBC Hindi he was "disturbed and disappointed" by the decision.

Ministry officials said they were "not provided with adequate information".

Mathews said: "There were documentaries showcased on this platform which dealt with more controversial issues than this and we have had no problem."

The documentary was filmed by five students from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

"The documentary is about how caste works in the meat industry. How it's a livelihood question for workers of the industry. We are talking about social exclusion, we are talking about caste," Atul Anand, one of the students who made the documentary, told BBC Hindi.

"We are shocked and upset. We made this documentary between August and September 2014, before beef was banned in Maharashtra.

"We took almost three months to make this documentary and it was sparked by a row on our campus in 2014 after some students demanded that beef and pork be banned," Anand said.

Mathews told the Indian Express newspaper that information and broadcasting ministry officials had told him that "due to the current political situation over the beef ban issue they have not give exemption permission for this particular documentary".

However ministry officials told the newspaper that they had not received "adequate information" about the film and were willing to reconsider the decision if they got the required information.

In another incident, reports from the north Indian state of Haryana indicated that an editor of a state government publication was sacked because of an article that said beef was nutritious.

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