Ever since the Shahid Kapoor–Alia Bhatt starrer Udta Punjab trailer came out, the film has received a tremendous amount of buzz for portraying the issue of substance abuse in Punjab. But, the film landed in a major controversy when Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) ordered over 90 cuts including the removal of the name Punjab from the title.
Now, Censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani has accused filmmaker and co-producer of the film Anurag Kashyap for taking money from AAP political party to topple the BJP government. He claims that the producer took money to show Punjab in the bad light on purpose.
Today, a press conference was kept where the lead actors of Udta Punjab, Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt along with producers Ekta Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap came forward to protest against the Censor board and how censorship every now and then is irrelevant. With the support of several filmmakers including Mahesh Bhatt, Zoya Akhtar, Imtiaz Ali, Vikas Bahl and others, Anurag took the centre stage and responded to Pahlaj Nihalani’s accusations. While he denied the accusations of taking money, he further responded in a stern manner adding that he is actually ashamed to defend himself at this point. Anurag Kashyap also rubbished the fact about reaching out to Pahlaj Nihalani over the recommended cuts for Udta Punjab. Claiming that he hasn’t spoken to the Censor Board chief over the matter, Anurag also added that he wouldn’t go through any such humiliation by talking to him.
In all, there are 94 cuts ordered by the CBFC and Anurag also provided the letters received for the cuts to be made. The makers of Udta Punjab have moved the Bombay High Court but no decision has been made as yet due to unavailability of the judge until June 16, 2016. Though there are rumours of a delay in the release date of the film, Anurag maintained that they will try their best to release the movie on June 17.
Anurag further clarified that no political references are made in the film. It focuses on the drug menace in the state. Filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt, who voiced out his support to the Udta Punjab team, described about how vicious Pahlaj Nihalani is and that he should be removed from his position.