Udta Punjab fights for survival, censors demand 40 cuts
Udta Punjab, starring Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh, is the latest film to run afoul of the censor board. Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) recently refused to give certification to the much-awaited film on the pretext that it has “excessive swearing, abusive language and drug consumption”.
Details of the scenes that CBFC found objectionable have now emerged. A DNA report claimed on Saturday that the censor board ordered a massive 40 cuts and these include expletives, a song and visuals of substance abuse. Udta Punjab takes a hard look at the drug abuse problem in the state of Punjab and its protagonist, played by Shahid, is a drug addict. The movie is directed by Abhishek Chaubey of Dedh Ishqiya and Ishqiya fame and is produced by Balaji Telefilms and Anurag Kashyap’s Phantom Productions.
The report also quoted a source as saying that the film’s producer Anurag Kashyap has approached the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) in a bid to get a quick clearance with nominal cuts. The makers have also approached the minister of Information & Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Rathore, to clear the film with an A certificate without any cuts, the report added. Meanwhile, reports have claimed that the censor board’s refusal to give certification to the film is politically motivated. Punjab is heading for elections next year and drug abuse problem has emerged as a key election issue.The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal has been opposing Udta Punjab ever since the trailer came out. The party has also expressed reservation about “negative portrayal” of Punjabis in the film but has shied from demanding an outright ban. SAD’s rivals, AAP and Congress, have used the drug issue to target the government and may try to capitalise on the film.