Chandigarh: Punjab is being defamed by opposition and filmmakers of ‘Udta Punjab’ over the drug issue as there is no such menace in the state. This was stated by some leaders of the SAD. The trailer of the film seems to have ruffled quite a few feathers. It appears that the ruling party has apparently used their ties with the BJP to counter the situation, with Pahlaj Nihalani, censor board chief, ordering cuts in the film. After the Central Board of Film Certification found the film to be incendiary and defamatory, besides misrepresenting the reality, social media has been bombed with questions on ‘freedom’ in the country.
Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites remained busy with the hottest topic of the day on Tuesday. Political fraternity and Bollywood found it hard to digest that the word Punjab has been directed to be removed from the title of the film along with 89 cuts. But this has not been officially communicated to the producers, Phantom Films and Balaji Films. “Udta Punjab supposedly is about showing a network which thrives at the expense of the poor and innocent lives. It’s but natural that hurdles are bound to happen,” posted Manmeet Bali Nag on the Facebook.
The censor board troubles being faced by “Udta Punjab” has put a big question mark on realistic cinema in the country as filmmakers may stop choosing subjects like droughts, farmer suicides, honour killings, etc. Keeping an eye on sex, crime and defamatory language in films has been a part of the board but to bury a subject like this has raised serious questions over the filmmakers’ freedom. Since the elections are not very far off, political parties took no time to avail of the opportunity against the ruling SAD-BJP and offered their support to the movie makers. Aam Aadmi Party’s Punjab incharge said that not “Udta Punjab but it is Majithia, who has defamed Punjab”. The PPCC president Capt Amarinder Singh also reacted to it.
“It is like taking the soul out of a film’s body,” he said. But the co-producer of the film, Anurag Kashyap, looked in no mood of taking any support. “ I request the Congress, AAP and other political parties to stay out of my battle. It’s my rights vs censorship. I speak only on my behalf,” he tweeted. “How could the state government be held responsible for it when CBFC is exclusively under the control of government of India,” said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Dharamvir Gandhi MP from Patiala said that, “In our country everybody has the right to express his or her voice.”
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