The controversy around the upcoming film Udta Punjab, a film on the drug menace in Punjab, refuses to die down.
Even as some of the biggest filmakers from Bollywood went all out to defend the film and its co-producer Anurag Kashyap in his standoff with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on Wednesday, actor Amitabh Bachchan has also commented on the issue.
he plot line of the film is anchored in Punjab’s widespread drug addiction, a problem that has been extensively researched and detailed. It is widely known that drugs are laying waste the people of the State.
Ironically, the CBFC wants “Punjab” expunged from the title along with edits so that the drama could be read as taking place anywhere in the country, not specifically in Punjab. Depictions of live issues and events are usually introduced with the caveat that resemblance to real persons is accidental, and it would be logical to assume that this is where the Board should have left it.
The reasons for its censorious zeal are not difficult to guess. Assembly elections in Punjab are less than a year away, and the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, which leads a coalition with the Bharatiya Janata Party, is being cornered most acutely on drug abuse.
It is accused not only of failing to check the drug trade, but also of turning its eyes away from the involvement of well-connected individuals. The film’s producer has taken the matter to court, and one must await further legal developments to know the fate of the film. But in his inordinate enthusiasm in talking down Udta Punjab, CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani has only brought the issue of drug consumption in Punjab back into the spotlight.
Here’s The List Of Things Pahlaj Nihalani Wants To Cut From Udta Punjab!
The battle between the CBFC and Phantom Films regarding the censorship in Udta Punjab has reached the High Court now. While the matter will be heard today, newspapers like Mumbai Mirror and the Indian Express have got a list of the cuts the Censor Board wants, despite giving the movie an A rating –
1) Remove or mute all references to Punjab from the film, including its title, dialogues, and a close-up shot of a signboard.
2) Remove references to names of cities like Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ludhiana and Moga from all the dialogues.
3) Include a disclaimer at the start of the film that reads: “The film focuses on the rising menace of drugs and the war against drugs and is an attempt to show the ill-effects of drugs on today’s youth and social fabric. We acknowledge the battle against drugs being fought by the government and the police. But this battle can’t be won unless the people of India unite against the menace.”
4) Cut close-up shots of characters injecting themselves with drugs.
5) Cut dialogue in which a dog is referred to as “Jacky Chain”.
6) Remove these words from the film: election, MP, party, MLA, parliament, harami.
7) Cut visuals of Shahid Kapoor urinating and a “sardar scratching his side”.
Make the movie into a GIF basically.
Watch the trailer here