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Censor Board Strikes Again Bans Udta Punjab

As soon as the news flashed about the Censor Board grounding the much awaited film Udta Punjab, the nation went berserk. It wasn’t the first time such a decision by the CBFC shocked cinefans. It has in the past asked for several cuts and deletion in films like Aligarh and Jai Gangajal. Even a kids’ film like Jungle Book wasn’t spared.

But this time, things went beyond expectations. The board gave a complete no-permit to release Udta Punjab, citing reason that it has “excessive swearing, abusive language and drug consumption”. The film stars Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh, and digs deep into the issue of drug abuse in the state of Punjab.

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While we still await an official statement from the makers of the big ticket film, the Censor Board CEO Anurag Shrivastav said there was no need to create a ruckus. But no one seems to be buying it!

“It’s a normal process and I don’t understand why this ruckus is being created. There were some differences among members of the EC, so we had referred the film to the RC. But the makers have directly gone to FCAT which will now take a decision.” – Censor Board CEO

There have been enough debates in the past as to why the over-assertive CBFC needs to be scrapped or undergo a policy change. Since the past few months, it has over-explored its job of a watchdog, raising eyebrows over issue-based films, and giving a go ahead to films like Kya Kool Hai Hum 3 and Mastizaade. We wonder whatever happened to the debate of “objectifying women” in such films.

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Earlier, the trailer, which had expletives mouthed by Shahid and Alia, had also been ‘toned down’. When it came to certifying the film, DNA claimed that three members of the EC had suggested only a few cuts, but the fourth member dug in his heels, demanding a much higher number of cuts. Despite efforts of the regional officer to reach a solution, the four stuck to their stand.

“The makers have no problem with the adult certification, but they want to get an all-clear with minimum cuts or else the film will be reduced to a mere 20 to 25-minute product. So, they have decided to move the tribunal and wait for their suggestions.” – A source from the team of Udta Punjab

Reports say the Censor Board refused certification to the film not exactly due to the expletive-laden dialogues, but due to political reasons in Punjab, which is set to hold the state elections next year. Taking a closer note, the order came a week after Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal expressed reservation over the portrayal of Punjabis in the film.

udta punjab

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Indiatimes on Thursday began a Twitter hashtag #WeWantUdtaPunjab as people kept posting their anger with “SHAME ON CENSOR BOARD”.

 

The release of Udta Punjab was impeded hours after the release of its new song “Da Da Dasse”. We hope the running controversy fades out soon and the film gets its scheduled release.

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