Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has criticised Centre Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for not clearing Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Aliya Bhatt starer “Udta Punjab”, for public screening and also for offering lame excuses only to scuttle the movie due to political reasons.
AAP leader and Punjabi film artist Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi said though the CBFC officials had been saying the movie was being blocked for excessive swearing in the ‘Udta Punjab’ but the real reason behind the ban is completely political.
Ghuggi said Udta Punjab is about excessive drug abuse problem in Punjab. Just a week ago Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had expressed reservation over the portrayal of Punjabis in the film.
“Since SAD is an alliance partner of the Narendra Modi led BJP government at the centre so the Akalis must have exercised their influence over banning the Udta Punjab movie. Otherwise the film director Abhishek Chaubey was even ready to screen the movie with an A certification if the CBFC felt there was an excessive swearing in the movie”, said Ghuggi.
Ghuggi said apparently, makers have the option of appealing to a tribunal but insiders believe that makers will have “to contend with a few cuts.” At the same time, reports suggest that the censor board has taken a call to stall the film due to the fact that the state of Punjab is going to hold elections next year.
“Now it is clear that the CBFC 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”, added Ghuggi.
Ghuggi said “such autocratic tactics by the Akalis could not conceal the reality of Punjab and how over the last 9 years of their misrule they have pushed the state deep into drug menace. Akalis are scared that the movie would expose them all around the world for their senior leaders’ direct involvement into the multi crore drug racket in Punjab”, added Ghuggi.
Ghuggi said Akalis have been used to muzzling the voice of the people and also of the media in the past. “They are responsible for the closure of many news channels and recently also of the blacking out of Zee Punjabi news channel from the cable network which is controlled by SAD, president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal”, added Ghuggi.