National Award-winning filmmaker Jahnu Barua on Tuesday withdrew his film ‘Bhoga Khirikee’ (Broken Window) from being screened at the upcoming Assam film awards as a mark of protest against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
As the state is aflame over the controversial legislation, the Padma Bhushan awardee has decided not to participate in the 8th Assam State Film Awards and Film Festival, 2019 which scheduled to take place on December 26 and 27 in Guwahati.
The film ‘Bhoga Khirikee’ was produced by actor Priyanka Chopra and was released in October last year across Assam and other parts of the country.
The aced filmmaker said he is very unhappy to witness the disturbing state prevailing in Assam owing to the introduction of the Bill and hence he would refrain from participating in the film festival.
“Assamese society has disintegrated only because of our leaders. They are all sold out. The politicians are to blame. Since independence Assam’s fate and future has been in the hands of Delhi,” said Barua while blaming the leaders and politicians.
Normal life was affected in Assam including the capital city, Guwahati as the Northeast Student Organisation (NESO) called an 11-hour NE Bandh in protest against the Citizenship Bill.
Amid the region-wide shutdown, one of the main protests was led by a group of artists in Guwahati. Artistes including actor Barsha Rani Bishaya, singer Dikshu, Montu Moni, Choreographer Uday Shankar were seen taking to the streets opposing the Bill.
Other big names from the industry like Jatin Bora, Roma Das, and Zubeen Garg have opposed the Bill. In addition to this, actor Ravi Sarma on Monday resigned from the primary membership of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on late Monday night, seeks to give Indian nationality to Non-Muslims entering India on or before December 31, 2014, from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan fleeing religious persecution.
While parts of Assam, which under the Sixth Schedule, have been exempted from the Bill, the Assamese believe that the Bill will accelerate illegal immigration from Bangladesh jeopardizing the identity of the indigenous people of Assam.