Anupam Kher in controversy over 2002 riots documentary

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File photo of Anupam Kher

Mumbai:  A documentary on the communal riots that tore through Gujarat in 2002 has pitted its director Rakesh Sharma against Anupam Kher, the popular actor who has been accused of stalling its clearance in his capacity as chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

Mr Kher headed the CBFC from October, 2003 - October, 2004. Mr Sharma has alleged that the veteran actor put roadblocks in the release of his documentary "The Final Solution'', and that it could reach the people only after the UPA government was voted to power in 2004.

"The Final Solution was cleared when the UPA was in power, an not under NDA. Kher's regime as Censor Board chief was the worst as he has feudal mindset,'' Mr Sharma told NDTV from Goa.

Mr Kher and his team - Mr Sharma alleges - went ahead and had the film banned and then when the regime changed, the film was cleared without any cuts under a panel headed by noted director Shyam Benegal. "If as he claims it was cleared under UPA does it mean the Congress sponsored the film? Is Sharmila Tagore a Congress supporter just because UPA appointed her ? It's only on merit we are selected'' he retorted. Mrs Tagore, a leading actor of the 1960s and 1970s, succeeded Mr Kher as the chairperson of CBFC in 2004.

Mr Kher also attributed the attack on him for stalling the release of "Final Solution'' as a reaction to his decision to back Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate. "Don't make me feel guilty for backing Modi. One doesn't become pro-Hindu or pro-Hindutva simply because one thinks Modi is a good leader," Mr Kher told NDTV. (India Votes 2014: Full Coverage)


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