Time and again we have seen the tiff between Censor Board and Bollywood movies. And this the fight is between the entire Bollywood and Censor Board for Abhishek Chaubey’s ‘Udta Punjab’.
How It Started
It all started when the Badals in Punjab said that explicit languages had been used in the film by Punjabis. They also alleged that Punjabis were shown in bad or negative light in the film and were referred as “B******s” in the movie. On Wednesday, Akali Dal-BJP issued a statement on the controversial ‘Udta Punjab’ censorship row between Anurag Kashyap and CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani.
Punjab is going to Assembly polls early next year and AAP, which has emerged as a strong player in the state, has made drug abuse a big issue and accused the Akali leadership of promoting the illicit drug trade.
Later, Central Board of Film Certification purportedly raised certain objections regarding references to Punjab following which it suggested 13 changes to film’s producers, which effectively mean a mammoth 94 cuts. Also, they have been asked to change the title of the film. CBFC has reportedly asked the makers to remove the word ‘Punjab’ from the title and the story.
The cut in film includes Names of Punjab’s cities, name of the state and a dog named Jacky Chain, to name a few. Check out other cuts here:
Udta Punjab’s co-producer Anurag Kashyap tweeted late on Wednesday:
& stop taking out list of cuts made for television of my adult films to show as censored portions of my film to prove a non-existing point
— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) June 7, 2016
Who Said What?
Major Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and Mahesh Bhatt on Thursday 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”.
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.
Amitabh Bachchan: “When you kill our creativity, you kill our soul… I hope we can device a system where there is certification rather than censor. 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.”
Aamir Khan: “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 throttled… There should be freedom of speech. Every Indian should have this right.”
Mahesh Bhatt: 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.”
Mukesh: “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.”
Zoya Akhtar: “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.”
Anurag Kashyap: “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.”
Milind Soman: “I would definitely like to see it, I am sensible enough to watch a movie and make up my own mind what it means. Whatever substances that can harm us, there must be a debate and talk about them on every platform.”
Madhur Bhandarkar: “I also faced problems with censor board in the past,we can’t kill creativity.”
Shyam Benegal: “Its an important film, it brings to the fore a very big problem. You cannot think that everything will fit in the same set of rules, films are not made in a factory.”