Renowned filmmaker Anand Patwardhan has said his National Award-winning documentary ‘Ram Ke Naam’, based on the Babri Masjid demolition, has been age restricted on YouTube.
The director said the video sharing website is “catering to Hindutva goons who want to kill all secular content.”
The 1992 documentary explores the campaign waged by the Hindu-nationalist Vishva Hindu Parishad to build a Ram temple at the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, as well as the communal violence that it triggered.
The film had received a ‘U’ certificate from the Central Bureau of Film Certification and was shown at prime time on Doordarshan after the high court ordered its telecast in 1996.
Patwardhan said he is baffled how the film has now been termed for “adults” only, 28 years after its release.
In a Facebook post, the director wrote on Sunday, “YouTube is at it again, catering to Hindutva goons who want to kill all secular content. Latest is they have put an ‘age restriction’ on my film ‘Ram Ke Naam’ which has a ‘U’ certificate from CBFC.”
The filmmaker said the video sharing website has previously done this to “Jai Bhim Comrade”, which also had a ‘U’ certificate, questioning if “YouTube is even worse than our CBFC?”
Patwardhan said the website is “Hindutva embedded” and called the move “disgusting”.
“Now if you are a child over 14 and under 18 you are allowed to do hazardous labour but you are not allowed to see ‘Ram Ke Naam’! The temporary good news is that if you are over 18 you can watch it on my (anandverite) YouTube channel. That is, till they think up a new ruse to restrict it further,” he wrote.
Patwardhan had written to YouTube regarding the move, to which the video-sharing website replied that ‘Ram Ke Naam’ was flagged for review, upon which, they “determined that it may not be suitable for all viewers and it has been placed behind an age restriction.”
“After further review, we’ve determined that while your video does not violate our Community Guidelines, it may not be appropriate for a general audience. We have therefore age-restricted your video,” Patwardhan shared YouTube’s response below his post.