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Censorship row as India army blocks film on gay soldier

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www.japantimes.co.jp

New Delhi – Critically-acclaimed Indian filmmaker Onir wanted to direct a movie inspired by a gay army major who resigned and came out in a blaze of publicity — but despite the country’s democratic status the military stopped it from being made.Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist government has been repeatedly accused of ramping up censorship in a systematic attack on dissent — including clampdowns on human rights activists, journalists and NGOs — since coming to power eight years ago.

In 2020 it issued an order advising filmmakers to seek prior clearance for any military-themed script, a decision described by free speech campaigners as both Orwellian and unconstitutional in the world’s largest democracy.Onir, who uses only one name, is gay himself and was among the first major Bollywood figures to openly acknowledge his sexuality.He is known for his movies about the lives of socially marginalized groups, and his creative eye was caught by the case of Major J.

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