Major Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Mahesh Bhatt today lent their support to Anurag Kashyap, who has locked horns with censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani over his alleged demands for major
cuts in “Udta Punjab”.
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has reportedly asked the makers to remove the word ‘Punjab’ from
the title and the story. They have also purportedly asked for more than 89 cuts, prompting the makers to move the Bombay High Court.
Besides Bachchan and Aamir, other Bollywood heavyweights to come out in criticism of the board include Mukesh Bhatt, Zoya Akhtar, Imtiaz Ali, Sudhir Mishra and Kabir Khan among others.
“When you kill our creativity, you kill our soul” I hope we can device a system where there is certification rather
Don’t try and kill creativity. We all must have the freedom to create because we are in this field and all we have is our soul to create,” Bachchan said on the sidelines of promoting “TE3N” in Kolkata.
“I am not aware of ‘Udta Punjab’ issue.
But it is unfortunate that there is going to be a delay that they have to fight their way to the high court,” Bachchan said.
Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan termed the controversy around the film unfortunate.
“I’m pained that the film is going through this. As per my knowledge, it is based on drug addiction and delivers a social message.
I don’t think there is anything that should be cut or audience should be kept away.
“It reflects badly on CBFC. I hope the film gets justice at the Tribunal. The voice of the filmmaker shouldn’t be
There should be freedom of speech.
Every Indian should have this right,” he said.
In a press conference, Mahesh Bhatt said it was a shame that a movie which “holds a mirror” and shames the Indian
society about the drug menace “is being strangulated”.
“This is not the industry’s problem at all, this is the problem of this country,” he said.
“A person who is a roadblock and not a facilitator should be removed.
That is something intolerable, unaccepted to film fraternity and we want him out.
His move is malicious and vicious. He lies, delays the process and will bully the person,” his brother, Mukesh, who is the president of Film and Producers Guild of India, said.
Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar said burying one’s head in the sand will not make the problems disappear.
“You can’t certify something as adult and then give 89 cuts.
We are in constant denial of what is going on in the society.
It’s like it does not exist.
There is no drug problem, there is no marital rape, there is no racism.
It’s just ridiculous,” she said.
Kashyap said they will try their best to release the film without cuts and as per its scheduled release on June 17.
“Censor board has got a bullying attitude and they are resorting to lies… It’s unfortunate that we have to justify
our honesty at every stage. At every stage, we need government approved stamp,” Kashyap said.