After hitting out at censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani for being an “oligarch”, Bollywood filmmaker Anurag Kashyap drawn Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attention to the controversy surrounding the censorship of his forthcoming co-production “Udta Punjab”.
While Modi is in the US, Kashyap tweeted in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, saying: “UDTA Punjab”.
The movie, directed by Abhishek Chaubey, spotlights the drug abuse issue in Punjab. The censor board has asked the makers to not just remove ‘Punjab’ from the title, but also rid the content of any reference to the state, where the extent of the substance abuse is placed by several surveys at over 70 per cent of its 2.8 crore population.
This, by many, is seen as a politically motivated move by the censor board.
Kashyap, who is known for being outspoken, on Tuesday went on a Twitter rant to hit out at Nihalani for his dictatorial ways. However, when his quest to slam the workings of the Central Board of Film Certification started getting support from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Kashyap clarified that he had no “political affiliation” and that this his own “battle”.
He said he has locked horns with the Central Board of Film Certification in the past too.
“Fight with censors has always been there… There was more faith now that was unfounded,” he said, mentioning that he had fought the system for his films “Paanch” and “Black Friday”.
“I have fought the UPA more on censorship issues than the NDA. But you know what, there was no Nihalani then…,” he said, adding that there are “paid trolls” on Twitter which are “trying to make me look like an agent of congress or AAP”.
Kashyap said he has been closely working with the information and broadcasting ministry and the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore “on the censorship issues”
“Udta Punjab” is co-produced by Kashyap’s Phantom Films with Balaji Motion Pictures. It stars Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh.