Bombay High Court today again adjourned the hearing on Udta Punjab censorship ban controversy for tomorrow. Filmmakers Vikas Bahl and Anurag Kashyap has moved to Bombay High Court against Pahlaj Nihalani’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) over ‘Udta Punjab’ controversy.
Earlier, the Bombay High Court posted the petition filed by Phantom Films – one of the producers of the movie ‘Udta Punjab’ – for further hearing today.
Anurag Kashyap has said that he felt blackmailed throughout his battle with the Censor Board over the certification for his upcoming movie “Udta Punjab”.
Kashyap said in all his previous run-ins with either the board or the government, he never felt he was being silenced, but this particular case was different.
“… I never felt that I was being silenced or blackmailed into doing something against my will. All those battles were a fair fight of belief systems, all those fights were not being lost, not knowing what’s going on.
“You cannot think that everything will fit in the same set of rules, films are not made in a factory,” said Shyam Benegal on Udta Punjab controversy.
Alia Bhatt, even in a short filmography so far in the film, has shown versatility in picking up scripts and the actress says it was this desire to surprise the audience again that made her sign “Udta Punjab”. Alia said that she did the movie to break the stereotype.
Defending the Punjab government’s role, senior minister of Badal govt, Daljit Cheema said, “The issue is between makers of the film and CBFC, state Govt has no role in it.”
Madhur Bhandarkar also reiterated Bollywood megastar Amit Bachchan’s assertion that one should not kill creativity and expressed hope that a solution would emerge soon.
“I like what Amit ji said yesterday don’t kill creativity because every filmmaker makes a movie with lot of passion, commitment and integrity,” said Bhandarkar.
The Censor board’s move has given twitteraties a chance to express their views and the two trending hashtags were #UdtaPunjabGirtaBadal and #उड़तापंजाब_डरता_बादल.
The CBFC move has certainly raked up a political storm and Aam Aadmi Party as well as Congress is leaving no stone unturned to get the benefit out of the contorversy ahead of Punjab Assembly elections whic is scheduled to be held early next year.
“Punjab has a crippling drug problem. Censoring #UdtaPunjab will not fix it. The government must accept the reality and find solutions,”, twitted Rahul Gandhi.
“Punjab Govt scared of its sin want to hide the reality behind menace of drugs in the state. #UdtaPunjab #उड़तापंजाब_डरता_बादल”, twitted the Youth Congress wing if Congress party.
Aam Aadmi Party twitted, “Unlike the BJP we don’t outsource our political battles, strongly refute allegations of us surreptitiously funding film #UdtaPunjabCensored.”
Another AAP tweet read, “An entire generation of youth has been ruined by drugs, BJP-Akali does nothing, finds fault with it’s depiction! #UdtaPunjabCensored”.
The High Court allowed the company to amend its petition allowing them to challenge the Censor Board’s order suggesting 13 cuts in the film.
Earlier, 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.
While Anurag 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,” said Kashyap.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was also quick to take political mileage out of the controversy as he alleged that NDA government is having a hand in the 89 cuts in ‘Udta Punjab’ and said what else one could expect in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s regime.
“#UdtaPunjabCensored What else cud one expect in Modi regime?’ he tweeted.
The whole B-Town has come up all together to be by ‘Udta Punjab’ makers’ side in their fight with the Censor board. From Big B Amitabh Bachchan to Farhan Akhtar to Shahid Kapoor, the bollywood stars came out strongly in support of the film and expressed their supports on various media platforms.
(With inputs from agencies)