Will PM Narendra Modi come to the rescue of Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Udta Punjab’?

We are living in strange times, especially as far as our cinema is concerned. The way the Censor Board is bullying our filmmakers, it is totally insane and unfair. The film in question is Abhishek Chaubey’s Shahid Kapoor-Alia Bhatt-Diljit Dosanjh-Kareena Kapoor Khan-starrer, ‘Udta Punjab‘. What started off as a difference of opinion between filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani, it has now turned into an ugly battle of egos, and many big names have chosen their sides. In his utter stupidity, Nihalani has linked this freedom of expression debate to dirty politics. It seems like he is no mood to let this Balaji Motion Pictures and Phantom co-production to see the light of the day.

Over the past few days Bollywood biggies spoke their mind about this issue. Karan Johar not only tweeted that “Udta Punjab speaks of the reality of our time, and censoring reality amounts to delusion” but also that “the fraternity has to stand by what’s right.” Farhan Akhtar said, “Someone in the CBFC seems to be tripping hard on Lassi in the Sky with Diamonds.” Ram Gopal Varma put out a tweet saying, “The government should realise that by banning” a film like Udta Punjab, it was actually trying to “ban Udta [flying] truth.” Johar even wrote a piece pleading his peers, “Do you think it might be time for us to become a real industry, a community?” he wrote. “Could we consider going past just wishing people on Twitter or fake hugging on red carpets? It’s not difficult to remember the old trope: united we stand, divided we fall. And the last time I remember we stood together was at a funeral and, that too, not for long.”

In the recently held press conference, Kashyap said, “The CBFC was supposed to give an official list of cuts, in writing on June 6, which they didn’t. On June 7, Udta Punjab’s producers sent a legal letter to the CBFC office, asking for a letter detailing the cuts, but they didn’t receive any. In fact, we’ve a letter from the CBFC office, saying they received the legal letter. Today we went to the High Court, and after the first hearing, we got the letter of cuts. We’re really running short of time. We immediately applied for FCAT, but the judge for FCAT is not available till the 16th,” a day before the film’s initial release date. This leaves the makers of ‘Udta Punjab’ with very few options but to surrender to the Censor Board. Perhaps only PM Narendra Modi can save ‘Udta Punjab’.

On another note, the holier than thou Censor Board cut short a kiss of 18 seconds to 9 in Randeep Hooda-Kajal Aggarwal-starrer ‘Do Lafzon Ki Kahani’. Do you agree that Mr Nihalani and gang have totally lost their marbles? Share your thoughts in the comments.