Apparently, Tanmay Bhatt’s controversy was not enough. Now we have the Censor Board going out of sense and banning Udta Punjab starring Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor, and Diljit Dosanj. The movie directed by Abhishek Chaudhary and co-produced by Anurag Kashyap revolves around drug abuse.
Going by the trailer, we can see that the movie has a strong message to give out. But our dear censor board has lost its senses and has cut 89 scenes from the movie. So basically, they cut off the essence of the movie. Not only this, now they have a problem with the name itself. Apparently, they want Punjab to be removed from the name, too, and all references regarding the state and political parties and elections must also be removed.
The audience who has eagerly been waiting for the film’s release, expecting entertaining and relevant films, and top producers themselves stand with co producer Anurag Kashyap and demand Freedom of Speech. Yes. Freedom of Speech, a right written in our constitution.
“I demand on behalf of the entire film industry… that the ministry should remove Pahlaj Nihalani,” said Mukesh Bhatt, head of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India, alleging a “complete conspiracy to sabotage.”
Kashyap took it up on Twitter on Tuesday.
“I always wondered what it felt like to live in North Korea.. Ab to plane pakadney ki bhi zaroorat nahin…” read one tweet, while another clarified, “It’s my fight Vs. a dictatorial man sitting there operating like an oligarch in his constituency of the censor board, that’s my North Korea.”
Pahlaj Nihalani, on the other hand, calls Kashyap a kid who is being denied a toy.
But is it Kashyap being denied a toy, or is Nihalani acting too conservative?
Anurag Kashyap is all lashing out and called Nihalani a dictator. Nihalani, on the other hand, blames Kashyap for taking money from AAP for the movie. Seeing politics get in between, Arvind Kejriwal has cleared the air and said AAP has strongly supported Team Udta and support its release.
Surprisingly both Congress and AAP have placed the issue of drug abuse in Punjab at the center of their campaigns against the Akali Dal-BJP state government in the run-up to assembly elections early next year. And even then, the movie is being banned.
While the big producers took to Twitter, fans flooded Facebook with Udta Punjab memes. Check out some of them:
As always, AIB rocks it.
This one is by TOI.
The movie is all about REALITY. Shahid Kapoor says in an interview that the movie is not promoting drugs but is showing the condition of the people addicted to it and acts as a warning to the ones who may be thinking of getting into it. So basically, this movie is portraying reality and acting as a moral lesson too.
But our dear censor board has a problem with this, and instead of banning movies like Hate Story 1,2, 3, Grand Masti, and Ragini MMS, it is trying to kill off eye-opening movies like Aligarh and Udta Punjab. This is rather ironic. Udta Punjab is being banned for telling a tale of reality, songs which promote alcohol are freely promoted like Chaska ae yaara nu, daru vi chadi rakhn da…and enna vi na dope shope maareya karo and Honey Singh’s chaar bottle vodka. These songs aren’t prayer songs, Censor Board!
Someone really needs to differentiate between reality and defaming because our Censor Board is clearly having a hard time differentiating the two. All in all, we hope Anurag Kashyap wins the case at the Bombay high court, and the movie releases on 17 of June with no cut scenes. High time that censor board gets some sense.
Update – On June 13, the Bombay High Court cleared the movie with just one cut after the producers appealed the CBFC’s recommendations. Pahlaj Nihalani, the head of the CBFC, is being called out by a sizable segment of the film community for allegedly serving the interests of the SAD-BJP administration in Punjab.
Balaji Motion Pictures, another producer alongside Ekta Kapoor, tweeted, “See you at the movies on June 17.” Anurag also commended the court’s judgement: Filmmaker Karan Johar and actors Shahid and Alia Bhatt, who play the drug-addicted rockstar and Bihari immigrant at the center of the story, were among the first to tweet.