1975 Ban on Ray Film Lifted

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In what could be the longest Indian film ban to be revoked, a documentary on Sikkim by Satyajit Ray will soon be free to view. In 1971, the film was commissioned by the then ruler of Sikkim (its forced merger with India happened in 1975) to highlight the country as an attractive tourist spot. The king, Palden Thondup Namgyal, and his wife weren’t happy with parts of it and ordered cuts, but it was never screened in public. In 1975, India banned it, believing it glorified the king and could become a rallying point for opponents of the merger. This month, officials of the external affairs and home ministries finally lifted the ban. It will be screened in 2011 to coincide with Ray’s 90th birth year.