The Censor Board and the makers of the drugs-themed drama 'Udta Punjab' are engaged in a legal battle over the vuts suggested in the multi-starrer film. The issue has garnered attention from various filmmakers and actors over the last few days. We take a look at the twists and turns of the 'Udta Punjab' row
Who said what
“ I request Congress, AAP and other political parties to stay out of my battle. It's my Rights vs the Censorship. I speak only on my behalf. ”
“ I’ve heard Anurag Kashyap has taken money from AAP to show Punjab in bad light. ”
“ Udta Punjab Censored. What else could one expect in Modi regime? What (sic) you eat, say, read, see or say, will be decided by RSS and Modi ji. Very scary. ”
How the events unfolded
Udta Punjab banned?
Late in May, media reports emerged that the film had been banned due to its excessive use of swearing and depictions of drug abuse. Reports also stated that the CBFC had demanded 40 cuts to the film, including that of a song and a scene involving a character consuming drugs. Anurag Kashyap, the co-producer for the film, had to issue a clarification stating that the decision of the film’s certification had been deferred to a revising committee.
Anurag Kashyap takes to Twitter
I always wondered what it felt like to live in North Korea .. Ab to plane pakadney ki bhi zaroorat nahin..— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) June 06, 2016
There is no film more honest than UDTA PUNJAB .. And any person or party opposing it is actually GUILTY of promoting drugs— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) >June 07, 2016
FYI I have fought the UPA more on censorship issues than the NDA. But you know what , there was no Nihalani then. So the paid trolls can FO— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) >June 07, 2016
No references to Punjab
The issue gained prominence when the CBFC's review committee suggested a whopping 89 cuts in the film, including deleting all references to Punjab and its cities, politics, elections and doing away with the expletives. Kashyap responded by calling the CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani 'an oligarch' and 'a dictator' and said it felt like living in North Korea. Read more
Giving a new political twist to the Udta Punjab controversy, Mr. Nihalani alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party had given money to the makers of the film. Soon after the statement, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal refuted the claims and a war of words started on social media. Read more
Assembly elections are due in Punjab next year. The opposition has made the drug abuse in the state a major campaign issue, upsetting the ruling Akali Dal-BJP coalition.
While the arguments took shape on social media, Kashyap alleged he had yet to receive a formal letter from the CBFC, listing the number of edits required. And without the official letter, the producers could not take the matter further to court. Mr. Nihalani, however, said that the producers themselves did not collect the letter until today and instead went to media persons making the matter public. Read more
Producers move court
’Udta Punjab’ producers move Bombay High Court seeking a copy of the order of Censor Board Review Committee report on the film. The revising committee changes the number of cuts demanded to 13. Read more
The Bombay High Court heard the objections raised by the producers and the body’s justifications for the same. It then questioned the CBFC insistence on deleting the Punjab signboard in the film that deals with drugs
The court also mentioned the film Go, Goa, Gone and said movies had got away with much worse in the past. Read more
Why insist on deleting Punjab signboard: HC
High Court tells the CBFC its power is to only certify movies for public exhibition not censor them. Read more
Battle of cuts: Udta Punab vs Censor board
Udta Punjab now joins a list of movies that had to go through a similar patch of hurdles before they got their release in India.