Mumbai: Coming out in support of “Udta Punjab“, which is embroiled in a major controversy over censorship, filmmakers Mahesh Bhatt, Mukesh Bhatt and Anurag Kashyap today alleged the board was intentionally delaying its clearance.
The board has reportedly asked the makers to remove the word ‘Punjab’ from the title and the story while also allegedly asking for 89 cuts, something that has not gone down well with the makers, who have now moved the Mumbai High Court against it.
Mahesh Bhatt said it was a shame that a movie which “holds a mirror” and shames the Indian society about the drug menace “is being strangulated”.
“This is not the industry’s problem at all, this is the problem of this country,” he said. “A person who is a roadblock and not a facilitator should be removed. That is something intolerable, unaccepted to film fraternity and we want him out. His move is malicious and vicious. He lies, delays the process and will bully the person,” his brother, Mukesh, President, the Film and Producers Guild of India, said.
“I appeal to the Ministry to remove Pahlaj Nihalani, the film industry does not want him.” Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar said burying one’s head in the sand will not make the problems disappear.
“You can’t certify something as adult and then give 89 cuts. We are in constant denial of what is going on in the society. It’s like it does not exist. There is no drug problem, there is no marital rape, there is no racism? It’s just ridiculous,” she said.
Film’s producer Anurag Kashyap, who is the face of the fight against the censor board, said they will try their best to release the film without cuts and on its scheduled release of June 17.
“Censor board has got a bullying attitude and they are resorting to lies… It’s unfortunate that we have to justify our honesty at every stage. At every stage, we need a government approved stamp… I will try my best to release ‘Udta Punjab’ without cuts and on time,” Kashyap said at the press conference.
The Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh starrer movie delves into how the youth in Punjab have succumbed to drugs.
Backed by the Indian Film & Television Directors Association, the press conference was attended by producers and directors like Zoya Akhtar, Imtiaz Ali, Mukesh Bhatt, Mahesh Bhatt, Ekta Kapoor, Aanand L Rai, Madhu Mantena, Sudhir Mishra, Ashoke Pandit, Reema Kagti and Ramesh Taurani among others besides the team of “Udta Punjab”.