“Censor Board banned Udta Punjab”, this news spreaded like a fire on social media yesterday and all the moviegoers went on a tirade against the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for ‘banning’ the movie. News was that the CBFC gave a complete no-permit to release ‘Udta Punjab’ citing excessive swearing, abusive language and drug consumptions in its content.
According to media reports, the film was seen by Examining Committee members few days back and they consentiently agreed to give it ‘A’ certificate suggesting 8 cuts. However the reality seems different as the producer of ‘Udta Punjab’ has dismissed the report of the film being banned by the censor board. Anurag Kashyap took Twitter to clarify the rumours and wrote, “For the record ,”Udta Punjab” is not banned. The examining committe has deferred the decision to Revising and due process is on. And due process takes it own time so please abstain for spreading a BAN rumour. There is nothing to speak on the subject as of now. A film is banned only when examining, revising and FCAT all three refuse certificate . And then you fight it out in Supreme Court.”
Not only Anurag, CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani also refused the rumours of banning the movie which is about drug trafficking in Punjab. “We have not recommended any cuts. Yes, the Examining Committee had a few reservations and couldn’t come to a consensus on the film, because of which they suggested that the makers take the film to the Revising Committee. However, the makers decided to move to the Tribunal instead, which is absolutely their call. Our decisions at the CBFC are not based on what a certain political group has to say about a movie. There is no ban from our end. We aren’t authorised to ban a movie; we can pass it or reject it,” Nilahani said.
There were also reports that members of Shiromani Akali Dal, the ruling party of Punjab, were demanding a ban on the movie as they felt it portrays their state in a bad light. However they also have denied the reports of proscribing the movie in the state due to any political reason. Virsa Singh Valtoha, an MLA of the party, said, “The problem of substance abuse is not exclusive to Punjab. To target one particular state amounts to defamation. We don’t have any issue with the film and we’ve never asked for a ban. So far, we’ve not even watched the movie and we don’t plan to do it. If there is any film which holds a mirror to the evils in society, we welcome it. We are just being accused of something that we haven’t done. From our side, there is no political agenda of banning the film at all.“
‘Udta Punjab’ will now be watched by the Appellate Tribunal Committee this week and hopefully the movie will get a fair judgment. Directed by Abhishek Chaubey, the film stars Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Diljit Dosanjh in lead roles. Produced by Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor under their banner Balaji Motion Pictures in association with Phantom Films, ‘Udta Punjab’ is scheduled to release on June 17, 2016.