1. Udta Punjab controversy: Hearing adjourned till Monday; Bombay HC to announce judgement then

Udta Punjab controversy: Hearing adjourned till Monday; Bombay HC to announce judgement then

From Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal to Arvind Kejriwal, everyone has spoken out against the censoring of Udta Punjab, a movie that details the drug menace in Punjab.

By: | Updated: June 10, 2016 2:13 PM
udtapunjab-bh-L Udta Punjab controversy: Shyam Benegal, 81, said much of the debate over the movie was sparked because people think the film is against the state of Punjab. Benegal said this notion is wrong. (Bollywood Hungama)

With each day, controversies around Abhishek Chaubey’s Udta Punjab refuse to die down. Set to release on June 17, 2016, Udta Punjab has sparked a debate between The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and the Bollywood industry. From Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal to Arvind Kejriwal, everyone has spoken out against the censoring of Udta Punjab, a movie that details the drug menace in Punjab.

1.45 pm: Hearing adjourned till Monday, judgement will be pronounced then.

1.21pm : Filmmaker’s lawyer gives example to Court of movies that had been passed by the CBFC- Delhi belly, Bandit Queen and Gangs of Wasseypur.

1.07 pm: All this is giving unnecessary publicity to the film.

12.33 pm: Court tells CBFC that whether it is TV or cinema, let the people see it. Everybody has a choice.

12.29 pm: Court remarks that the multiplex audience is mature enough.

12.15 pm: The CBFC lawyer tell the Court that certain scenes in the movie are offensive and vulgar. While the dialogue “zameen banjar to aulaad kanjar” is abusive.

12.07 pm:  Hearing starts in Bombay High Court.

On Thursday , Shyam Benegal, who heads the government-appointed revamp panel of the Central Board of Film Certification, said “If you ask me technically, it’s a very well-made film.”

The director, 81, said much of the debate over the movie was sparked because people think the film is against the state of Punjab. Benegal said this notion is wrong.

“The film in that sense points to a very important problem. I don’t think one should take it into mean that state is colluding with it. This is absolute wrong reading of the film itself according to me.

Actress Kangana Ranaut has backed the makers of “Udta Punjab”, which is embroiled in a censorship battle, saying the censor board is bullying filmmakers and called for an end to “parental attitude towards the audience”.

Director Madhur Bhandarkar on Thursday reiterated Amitabh Bachchan’s assertion that one should not kill creativity and expressed hope that a solution would emerge soon.

“Let us appreciate the fact that Shyam Benegal committee is there constituted by the Modi government and I am sure that it will come out with a solution so that we filmmakers get liberty and are able to exercise fundamental rights and make the kind of cinema we want to make,” said Bhandarkar.

Ekta Kapoor, one of the producers of controversy-ridden “Udta Punjab”, says she is happy that eminent filmmaker Shyam Benegal has heaped praise on the film. Veteran actor Anupam Kher also lent his support to filmmaker
Anurag Kashyap in his fight with CBFC over his upcoming film “Udta Punjab”.

Priyanka Chopra also came out in support of Udta Punjab saying “Our forefathers achieved freedom of speech and
expression for us after a long struggle… Creativity should not be stopped in democracy”.

arshad warsi-tw

Reacting to the row, BSP supremo Mayawati on Thursday said there was “nothing wrong” with the film Udta Punjab and backed the drug-themed Bollywood movie which is in the eye of an escalating censorship row.
“There is nothing wrong with Udta Punjab. BSP supports it,” said Mayawati.

Attacking the BJP over the on-going row, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said whether the word Punjab would be also removed from the national anthem. Kejriwal, whose party is looking to make inroads in the Punjab in the up-coming Assembly polls, claimed that by censoring the movie themed on drug abuse, the BJP-Akali Dal
has “accepted defeat.”

With the furore over ‘Udta Punjab’ in a see-sawing state, veteran filmmaker Ashok Pandit on Friday said that it is very sad for the CBFC that it was being dragged to the court and being told to justify its stand on making cuts from the film. Pandit told ANI that nothing could be worse for the censor board has now been asked by the court to justify its stand.

“Baahubali” director SS Rajamouli has extended his support to Udta Punjab team over censorship row, saying a few people cannot decide what the entire nation should watch.

Udta Punjab censorship row has earned CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani the monikar of “Ladta Pahlaj” in the latest ad of Amul Co-operative Ltd, which is known for its funny takes on topical issues.

amul ad-tw

The Bombay High Court on Thursday sought an explanation from the Censor Board over its insistence for deleting Punjab signboard in the drug-themed film which triggered fresh sparring. The CBFC, however, submitted that all the 13 changes including deletion of Punjab in the film title suggested by its Revising Committee were justified and proper.

A bench headed by Justice S C Dharmadhikari was hearing a petition filed by Phantom Films, producer of ‘Udta Punjab’ which is aggrieved by an order of the Revising Committee that suggested changes in the film before its release on June 17. Justice Dharmadhikari compared ‘Udta Punjab’ with another film released earlier titled “Go, Goa, Gone” and said in that movie the state of Goa is shown as a place where people go to socialise in parties and also take banned drugs.  The makers were apparently even asked to drop ‘Punjab’ from the title and it was suggested that the film be set in a fictitious backdrop instead of a particular state.

“If Goa can be shown as a place of drug abuse in that film, what is wrong if Punjab is shown in Udta Punjab?” asked
the Judge.

The Abhishek Chaubey-directed film that delves into the drug menace in the state of Punjab, faced troubles with
Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) which demanded 89 cuts in the film. It also included removal of the word
“Punjab” word from the movie as well its title.

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