Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani today faced heat on multiple fronts in the escalating row over “Udta Punjab” with demands for his sacking including over his allegation that its maker Anurag Kashyap may have taken money from AAP to make the drug-themed Bollywood film.
As the film fraternity rallied behind Kashyap in the censorship row with superstar Amitabh Bachchan saying creativity should not be killed, the producers moved the Bombay High Court seeking a copy of the order passed by Censor Board’s Review Committee suggesting “13 changes” and removing reference to Punjab in the film.
The producers later said they got a copy of the order.
Nihalani said that the producers themselves did not collect the order until today and instead went to media persons making the matter public.
“We met with the producers on Monday and told them about the cuts. They said, ‘If we get cuts, will you give us the
certificate?’ I said, ‘Of course yes’. But they did not turn up to collect the letter. They directly went to media. Today
they came to collect the letter.”
Mahesh Bhatt, Mukesh Bhatt and Anurag Kashyap alleged that the Censor Board was intentionally delaying the film’s clearance.
The makers had also alleged that Nihalani purposely refused to hand them the letter, which mentioned the cuts.
Mukesh Bhatt while targeting Nahalani said a person who is a roadblock and not a facilitator should be removed.
“That is something intolerable, unacceptable to film fraternity and we want him out. His move is malicious and
vicious. He lies, delays the process and will bully the person,” Mukesh, President, the Film and Producers Guild of
India, told reporters at a joint news conference in Mumbai that included the cast of the film.
Nihalani’s allegation against Kashyap and AAP set off another war of words.
Taking a potshot at Kashyap, who is the face of the fight against the Censor Board, Nihalani claimed he has heard
that the filmmaker had taken money from Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) to show Punjab in bad light.