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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Complaint Regarding the 'Removal' of Tibet from the Movie Rockstar

November 9, 2011

November 7, 2011
Smt Leela Samson,
Central Board of Film Certification,
Bharat Bhavan,
91E Walkeshwar Road,
Mumbai 400006,
Maharashtra, India.
Subject: Regarding the 'Removal' of Tibet from the Movie Rockstar
Respected Smt Leela Samson,
This is with reference to the recent Censor Board directive to the filmmakers of the Hindi movie Rockstar, directed by Imtiaz Ali.
We are surprised and shocked to learn about the Central Board of Film Certification's decision to remove of the Tibetan National Flag and blurring the 'Free Tibet' banners from the movie sequence. We see no logic in preventing the filmmaker either from discussing Tibet or displaying the Tibetan National Flag of an occupied country when the Government of India has officially given asylum to lakhs of Tibetans in this country and has even allowed the Tibetan Government-in-Exile to function from the Indian soil for the last fifty years.
We, the concerned citizens of India and the supporters of Tibetan struggle for Independence would like to know from you the reason for such a drastic step, as there was no Indian Government directive on the use of the Tibetan National Flag in the country. Instead any Indian citizen and those Tibetans living in exile in India are free to fly the Tibetan National Flag anywhere in India. We would like to bring to your notice that we do not consider China a friendly nation as it had a long war with us in 1962 resulting in Chinese annexation and occupation of 32,000 Sq miles of Indian Territory. Recently Chinese Army had entered many places in Chumar Sector of Ladakh region. The Chinese government openly claims Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as their territory and the Chinese Embassy continue to issue stapled visas to the residents of the state of J&K and Arunachal Pradesh to provoke the Indian people. Referring to all these 'friendly' activities of China, we cannot term the relations India has with china as cordial but aggressive.
May I recall movies such as Haqeeqat by Chetan Anand and Prem Pujari by Vijay Anand that prominently highlighted the issue of Tibet and the Chinese aggression on India. Tibet is a strategic issue for India from the defence point of view and by acting against the nation’s interest. The recent controversial acts of the Central Board of Film Certification raise doubt about its loyalty to the Union of India. We would request you to explain and clarify the reasons to the concerned people in this country which may once again strengthen our beliefs in institutions such as CBFC.
Your decision to ‘remove’ the Tibetan National Flag and Free Tibet slogans from an Indian movie gives us an impression that you have either acted under the Chinese pressure or have deliberately tried to appease the Chinese Government thus jeopardising the security and integrity of the Indian nation. We protest the denial of freedom of speech and expression enshrined to us by our Constitution.

Yours Sincerely,
Rohit Singh
(Campaigns Coordinator, Friends of Tibet)

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