Udta Punjab: Filmmakers unite against CBFC head Pahlaj Nihalani
Mumbai: Almost the entire Bollywood fraternity rallied behind Anurag Kashyap whose co-produced ‘Udta Punjab’ has run into trouble allegedly at the behest of censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani. The Indian Film and Television Directors Association (IFTDA) held a press conference in Mumbai, which was attended by top filmmakers of the industry including Anurag Kashyap, lambasted the censor board for imposing censorship on the film.
Filmmakers stressed that censor board’s work is to give certificate to the film and not to run scissor over it. Abhishek Choubey directed film Udta Punjab faced Censor Board’s irk as it asked the makers for over 80 cuts including the change in the film’s title.
Meanwhile, producers of Udta Punjab have moved the Bombay High Court against the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for not receiving the certificate from the board. The court has adjourned the hearing on the film until tomorrow.
Several eminent personalities from the cinema industry stood against CBFC during the press conference of IFTDA on Wednesday. Those attended the PC included - Anurag Kashyap, Mukesh Bhatt, Satish Kaushik, Ashok Pandit, Sudhir Mishra, Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Mahesh Bhatt and several others.
Here’s what they said:
Anurag Kashyap: In the last two years, a record number of films have been cleared through tribunal. We know what we make and what we show to people and there’s no need of censor board’s interference to this extent. We want certification board and not censor board. A lot of producers today don’t even dare to bring sensible topics on reel. I feel ashamed in even defending myself on such an allegation (taking money from AAP).
Ashok Pandit: We need an apology from Pahlaj Nihalani’s allegations that Anurag took money from Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party to make Udta Punjab. It is sheer insult for the entire film fraternity.
Mukesh Bhatt: I appeal to the Ministry to remove Pahlaj Nihalani as he doesn't deserve to be the CBFC chief.
Mahesh Bhatt: We can't turn into a Saudi Arabia where there is opulence but no free thought in society.
Satish Kaushik: Normally film industry offers silent support but for the first time we all have come out openly on an issue.
Shahid Kapoor: We live in the age of information and technology and it is necessary to make society aware about a sensitive topic like drug abuse to the society. We all need to support the message this film is sending.
Earlier, Kashyap stormed the micro-blogging website Twitter with his outrageous tweets on Tuesday night, where he targeted Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani and even the government.
There is no film more honest than UDTA PUNJAB .. And any person or party opposing it is actually GUILTY of promoting drugs— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) June 6, 2016
It's my fight Vs a dictatorial man sitting there operating like an oligarch in his constituency of censor board, that's my North Korea— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) June 7, 2016
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— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) June 7, 2016
And it's pathetic that the party supported and paid trolls are trying to make me look like an agent of congress or AaP— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) June 7, 2016
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— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) June 7, 2016
On the other hand, CBFC Chief Nihalani refuses to budge and slammed Mukesh Bhatt for demanding his resignation. He said, “They should make their movies, and not worry about any resignation.”