National Award-winning filmmaker Jahnu Barua on Tuesday said he has withdrawn his film 'Bhoga Khirikee' (Broken Window), which was produced by Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra, from the upcoming Assam film awards in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Expressing anguish over the ongoing unrest across Assam and North East, the Padma Bhushan awardee said that the leaders are "disrobing the motherland" only because of power politics.
"I am very unhappy with the ongoing situation regarding the bill. This bill should not have happened. We believed the leadership, but they are not trying to understand us. In such a situation, I do not want to participate in such a program," Barua told PTI.
The 8th Assam State Film Awards and Film Festival, 2019 is scheduled to take place on December 26 and 27 in Guwahati. Stating that he has always protested against the hugely controversial bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday midnight, the eminent film director said that there will be no existence of the Assamese after 50-100 years if the CAB is implemented.
"The Assamese community is language centric. There are people from all religions and we want to remain like this. Language is everything for us. If we lose that, then what will happen? As an artist, I can clearly see what is going to happen," he added.
Barua also remembered the glorious past of Assam and mentioned the founder of Ahom kingdom Chaolung Sukaphaa and Vaishnavite scholar Srimanta Sankardev, who "defeated the outside force and gifted a beautiful community".
"We have already broken our society. This will further tear apart us. I feel that just because of power, the political class is disrobing the motherland. We simply cannot do it," the filmmaker asserted.
'Bhoga Khirikee' was Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra's first Assamese film as a producer and it was commercially released in October last year across Assam and other parts of the country.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill piloted by Union Home Minister Amit Shah was passed in the Lok Sabha on late Monday night. The bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis entering India on or before December 31, 2014, from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after five years of residence in India even if they do not possess any document.
Normal life came to a halt on Tuesday in Assam's Brahmaputra Valley due to a statewide bandh called by All Assam Students' Union, a constituent of North East Students' Union and 16 left-leaning organizations such as the SFI, DYFI, AIDWA, AISF, AISA and the IPTA to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.