The Bombay High Court has cleared the road ahead for the release of Udta Punjab on June 17. The journey for the people involved with the film as well as the worldwide audience has been nothing short of a thriller that’s racing towards a heady climax now riding on crores of free publicity in print, news channels and in the digital space. Udta Punjab has been relentlessly trending on the social media since the last few weeks ensuring humongous eye balls. Anurag Kashyap rightfully fought for his cinematic rights like a raging bull but now he also needs to send a thank you note to one man who single handedly gifted him and his team huge publicity- Pahlaj Nihalani.
It was a unique case of mutual hate society that Anurag and Nihalani exhibited in the last few days. Anurag blasted Nihalani and called him the dictatorial North Korea and a chamcha of Prime Minister Modi. Nihalani shot back by saying that, “Yes I am a chamcha of Modi. So should I be chamcha of Italian Prime Minister?”. All this made for captivating live television and hungrily consumed on social networking and video sharing platforms. The details of this war of words is known to crores of people and that too verbatim. Any sort of publicity, good or bad, is positive publicity. Nihalani acted as an unintentional PR agent for Anurag Kashyap and Balaji Telefilms and singlehandedly ensured publicity that can run into crores. It also needs to be noted that this free publicity may be responsible for resulting in additional revenue of anything between Rs.7-10 crores for Udta Punjab at the box office.
On a lighter note, now the producers should think of hiring the services of Pahlaj Nihalani as a ‘consultant’. It makes ‘sense’ to think up new ways to cook up controversies with upcoming films that may ensure big fights on prime time news channels with hyperventilating news anchors who never lose an opportunity to pick up a one sided fight. Nihalani has earned rebuke from anyone and everyone including the ruling party at the Centre. Kya faayda hua itna sanskaari banke? At least now, he should think of making some good money! With his foot-in-the-mouth proclivity, Sanskari Nihalani will make a killing by being a double agent. A win-win situation for everyone!