No Fathers in Kashmir, a film directed by Ashvin Kumar that had been in censor trouble for the last almost eight months, has been finally cleared with a U/A certificate.
The certification came after Ashvin Kumar screened his film a second time before the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), the apex body under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting that governs the final matters of certification of films in India, around a month ago.
No Fathers in Kashmir, starring Soni Razdan, Anshuman Jha and Kulbushan Kharbanda in main roles, went to the Central Board of Film Certification in July 2018, but the censor board gave it an A certificate. Not happy with the CBFC decision, makers of the film thought moved FCAT in November. With no relief coming after a hearing in December, the makers of the film moved the tribunal again in January this year.
In these eight months, there have been six screenings and seven hearings as the makers and the actors waited for the film to release.
FCAT has, a month after the second screening, given its final order — a U/A certification. It has asked for a few changes, including some cuts and disclaimers, though. The film will now have to go back to the CBFC, which will issue the final order for release.
No Fathers in Kashmir traces the love story of two 16-year-olds who are in search for their respective fathers who have gone missing in the Valley. Director Ashvin Kumar has previously made Little Terrorist, which got Oscar nomination in the shorts category. He also won two national awards for his feature films Inshallah Football and Inshallah Kashmir.
Ecstatic after the FCAT decision, U/A with this development, Ashvin Kumar said: “Ten years ago, in my film Inshallah Football, I had warned that alienating the youth of Kashmir would have catastrophic consequences. Censorship of the truth about Kashmir has caused a crisis of compassion, amplifying misguided fears of ordinary Indians towards ordinary Kashmiris.”
He added: “Keeping public away from information and truth is such a myopic policy – it only breeds more hostility when the need of the hour is empathy leading to peace. Anyone who genuinely wants peace will understand that we must first stop censoring films that tell the truth about Kashmir.”