The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa’s daily newspaper, The Peacock, sparked controversy after deciding not to print the late Goan writer Vishnu Surya Wagh’s poem on caste discrimination.
The Sunday edition featured a two-page illustration of Wagh by artist Siddhesh Gautam, originally intended to accompany the poem “Secular.”
However, the text was arbitrarily removed on Saturday, leading Wagh’s nephew to label it an “act of censorship,” as reported by the Indian Express.
Gautam, the illustrator, took to Instagram to express his frustration, stating, “I was asked to not publish a poem by Vishnu Surya Wagh for today’s issue. Wagh’s poem ‘Secular’ (is one that) I carefully chose because it expresses so many incidents of caste discrimination by many on a daily basis in both urban and rural areas. I myself have gone through something similar many times in my life, not just as an unknown student, but also as a well-known artist.”
Gautam even shared the censored poem on Instagram.
In response, the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG), the organization behind IFFI, claimed the decision to omit the poem was made “purely for creative reasons.”