Defending the decision to make a whopping 89 cuts from the upcoming flick ‘Udta Punjab’, Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani on Wednesday asserted that he had made the cuts keeping the law and order situation of the state in mind and accused Anurag Kashyap, the co-producer, of trying to take mileage from the entire controversy to promote the film.
“There is absolutely no truth in his allegations and he (Kashyap) is lying to the media. Our job is to give a certificate to the movie, which we have and we have passed the movie. They should come and take the certificate from us along with us cuts. The CBFC takes its individual decisions and the panel members then decide if the movie should be passed or not. We have taken a unanimous call and the picture has been cleared, but there are certain cuts that have been made,” Nihalani told the media.
Swatting of allegations of the CBFC swaying to political affiliations regarding the release of the film, he added that there was absolutely no truth to the charges, as the board was an individual entity free from any political ties, adding that the picture had been cleared and that the matter should end there.
He also accused Kashyap of trying to garner attention for his flick, which ‘no one had heard before’ until now, saying that he was trying to get mileage out of the entire furore.
“Until yesterday no one knew about this film, and now suddenly everyone is talking about it. I never said Udta Punjab shouldn’t release in Punjab. Anurag Kashyap is trying to take mileage and has done it before too. All these lies and rumours that are being spread shows that the matter is being created just to make some noise,” Nihalani said.
Talking about the cuts made in the film, he further said that if Kashyap has problems with the CBFC’s decision then he was free to go to higher authorities and make his case, adding that he had nothing personal against the co-producer and that he was simply doing his job.
He also asserted he never said that the movie must not be released in Punjab, saying the movie highlighted the problems in the state and that now it had been cleared by the CBFC, it can be seen by everyone across the nation.
With Bollywood up in arms against the censorship troubles that film ‘Udta Punjab’ is facing, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore yesterday said the filmmakers can approach Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) if they are unsatisfied with the decision.
However, FTII chairman and actor Gajendra Chauhan has said that the final decision rests with the Censor Board, adding that Kashyap may approach the tribunal and court to justify his stand.
Earlier, Kashyap accused Nihalani of behaving like a “dictator”, adding that he had no political pressure to bar the film.
“Pahlaj Nihlani is behaving like a dictator and it almost feels like you are living in dictatorship, where everybody is telling you what to do and you don’t have any right,” he told ANI.
Several Bollywood celebrities like Arjun Kapoor, Vikram Bhatt, Karan Johar and Farhan Akhtar among others have extended their support to ‘Udta Punjab.’
Co-produced by Phantom Films and Balaji Motion Pictures, ‘Udta Punjab,’ a highly talked about movie that is being keenly anticipated by a large section of youth, also stars Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Punjabi singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh.
The movie slated to release on June 17 is likely to get delayed.