The much awaited Abhishek Chaubey-directed Udta Punjab, starring Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Diljit Dosanjh, has stirred up a massive controversy with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), popularly referred to as the Censor Board. The board have given it a complete no-permit to release Udta Punjab, citing reason that it has “excessive swearing, abusive language and drug consumption.”
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 film like Aligarh and Jai Gangajal. Even a kids’ film like Jungle Book was given a U/A certificate citing reason that children are prone to heart attacks on watching jumping animals on the screen.
In the past the board has given a go ahead to films like Kya Kool Hai Hum 3, Mastizaade and One Night Stand, which were describing woman as an object in their films then what’s the problem with a movie based on a social issue? Is the decision politically inspired? Whatever it might be but there is a limit to banning films that center on social issues, and instead releasing films where women are objectified to a large extent.
According to reports the Censor Board refused certification to the film not exactly due to the abusive dialogues, but due to political reasons in Punjab, which is set to hold the state elections next year. The order came a week after Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal expressed reservation over the portrayal of Punjabis in the film.
However, according to the co-producer of the film ‘Anurag Kashyap’ the film hasn’t been banned by the board, they have approached Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), a Board that operates out of New Delhi, for further negotiation as makers are happy with an adult certificate rather than the minimal 40 cuts which will reduce the length of the film to mere 20-25 minutes. While one can only wait and watch what happens to Udta Punjab, due for release on June 17, we can only hope that we get to see the movie.