'Udta Punjab', based on the drug abuse in the state of Punjab is facing troubles ever since it has released its posters and songs. Anurag Kashyap got into trouble when the Censor Board officials suggested several cuts in the film. But now again the officials suggested a total of 89 cuts including dropping the reference to the word Punjab throughout the film and even the title.
This made co-producer Anurag Kashyap furious and he expressed his anger in a series of tweets.
Here are some of his tweets:
"I always wondered what it felt like to live in North Korea .. Ab to plane pakadney ki bhi zaroorat nahin.."
“There is no film more honest than UDTA PUNJAB .. And any person or party opposing it is actually GUILTY of promoting drugs"
He also requested the political parties to stay out of the matter as this is his battle against the Censor Board. "I request Congress, AAP and other political parties to stay out of my battle. It's my Rights vs the Censorship. I speak only on my behalf" he tweeted.
"Rest of you go pick your own fights. I will fight mine."
"So please don't colour my fight with any political affiliation because there is none."
"FYI I have fought the UPA more on censorship issues than the NDA. But you know what , there was no Nihalani then. So the paid trolls can FO."
"And it's pathetic that the party supported and paid trolls are trying to make me look like an agent of congress or AaP.”
"And I have all our texts and messages saved so if the govt is trying to make there incompetence look good then they've picked a wrong person"
"& stop taking out list of cuts made for television of my adult films to show as censored portions of my film to prove a non-existing point"
Government sources however stayed apart from the ongoing debate. But a source said, "Our intention is clear. We have nothing to do with approving or censoring a film. It is for this reason itself that we have a three-tier process... The filmmakers can appeal the decision made by one panel to another panel and then approach the FCAT. Both are government appointed bodies, so why is it that the Centre is blamed for the CBFC's decision to introduce cuts but not given credit when the film is approved by the FCAT without any cuts? There is no government role."
Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal said in Ropar, "How could the state government be held responsible for it when CBFC is exclusively under the control of the government of India?"
Punjab BJP chief and union minister Vijay Sampla welcomed the Board's move and said any attempt to "defame" Punjab should be dealt with sternly. "Nobody should be allowed to defame Punjab...why did the producers name the movie Udta Punjab? Why not Udta Bollywood...the drug problem is a global issue. Why is one state being singled out?," he said.
Sampla asked opposition parties to rise above their "political interests" and not allow anybody to "defame" Punjab in any manner. "Be it the ruling party or opposition, every effort should be made to protect the image of the state at any cost," he said
Bollywood film fraternity also came out in the support of the filmmaker. Farhan Akhtar expressed his support through twitter. He said, "Power is the most dangerous addiction of all & someone in the CBFC seems to be tripping hard on Lassi in the Sky with Diamonds. #UdtaPunjab."
Karan Johar said, "#UdtaPunjab speaks of the reality of our times....censoring reality amounts to delusion.....the fraternity has to stand by what's right!!."