Swara Bhaskar and a few more on Twitter are reacting to the long list of edits suggested by the Central Board of Film Certification for Anubhav Sinha’s latest, Bheed. A black and white film starring Rajkummar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar, Bheed is Sinha’s take on the mass migrant movement during the March 2020 lockdown in India.
As per the list circulating on social media a bunch of swear words and some nudity was removed from the film. One of the edits includes removal of ‘all the (direct and indirect) speeches and references of the Hon’ble PM (voice-over).’ Additionally, ‘Pradhanmantri was replaced with Mantri and voice-over of the Delhi CM replaced, wherever they occurred/appeared (also removed from sub-titles).’
More edits include: ‘Muted the word ‘Jihad’ from the dialogue ‘Corona Jihad faila rahe hain..’; ‘Reduced the visuals of police brutality/hitting the migrant workers, especially deleting the visuals of direct hitting’; ‘Deleted the dialogue ’India ka partition lag raha hai..’ and replaced with ‘This is such an unprecedented mass migration’, as it is spoken in comparison with lockdown situation/event and the Indian partition (also from sub-titles).’
Swara reacted to the edits by tweeted, “Nothing stings like facts.. In India we have a new affliction : Allergy to facts. #bheed #censorship.”
The first trailer of the movie was also pulled off and re-released with changes, including the omission of a speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a dialogue referencing Partition. Talking about the edits, Anubhav Sinha told in an interview, “Of course, these changes are obvious. The trailer was off air for two days (and) the changes mentioned are correct. But that reason is the filmmaker’s business. There is a sanctity to the film and I would not like to disturb it.”
Actor Rajkummar Rao said about the edits, “Only makers can give an answer to this. I don’t cut the trailer or put it on social media. This is not my responsibility. It’s a creative decision. Only Anubhav sir can only tell you about it, and you will meet him soon.”