Udta Punjab is a 2016 India crime thriller by Abhishek Chaubey.
Starring Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor.
What on earth can a rock star, a migrant laborer, a doctor and a cop possibly have in common? Simple, Punjab! 4 lives, 1 connection - 'Udta Punjab' takes you on a trip like never before. Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Diljit Dosanjh play
characters from different walks of life, fighting the menace of drugs in their own way. The film journeys into the artificial highs and the real lows that they face while treading the paths fraught with mortal dangers. But above all, Udta Punjab is about
the famed Punjabi spirit, that despite being fully down, has the audacity of looking you in the eye and saying - Drugs di maa di!
India's crazed film censor, Pahlaj Nihalani, is under duress after his decision to make 89 puerile cuts to a film wound up the local film industry, and let to a court battle which ended up humiliating the censor.
The film, Udta Punjab , will now be released on Friday with an adults only 'A' rating and just one cut.
India's central Board of Film 'Classification' (CBFC) originally demanded 89 cuts. The film board claimed that the movie portrayed Punjab in a bad light. The proposed cuts included removing every mention of the word Punjab from the film, deleting
swear words and also a number of other words such as parliament , legislators and elections .
Chief censor Nihalani saw the writing on the wall as the case proceeded to court and reduced the cuts list to 13, but this did not appease his opponents.
The court ruled that the film must be certified for release in the next 48 hours with one scene showing a character urinating to be removed.
The producers of the film described the ruling as a victory for democracy. The films makers challenged the censors claim that the film promoted illegal drug use and questioned the integrity of India. The court rejected the censors claims and said:
We have read the script in its entirety to see if the film encourages drugs. We do not find that the film questions the sovereignty or integrity of India by mentioning the names of cities, or referring to a state or by a signpost, the judge said.
Responding to the judgement Nihalani rued that from now on, CBFC was meaningless. He said doors for films with obscene, vulgar content are open now and questions have been raised on the working of the censor board. He said:
It is undoubtedly a good judgement for the producers. I have been a producer too, so I am glad everyone is relieved today. But
the CBFC has lost its meaning today. As the chairman of the CBFC, I have come to know that the board is not here to censor movies . I just want to point out that when the name of the board was changed from 'censor' to 'certification', the 1952
cinematograph Act that it follows, and its rule book were not changed.
We were just following those, and doing our job and was only implementing the act that was framed for CBFC to function with full honesty. I had put in place a proper system. We were doing what was expected of us -- to ensure films are free of content
that is unnecessarily abusive and defamatory. But from today, the producers are free to produce anything they want.
They will now have the liberty to have obscenity, vulgarity in their movies. It is an open world for them as anything and everything they make will be cleared with an A certificate.
The board has the option of appealing against the verdict in the Supreme Court.
Update: Film Certificate notes that the film was passed by the Mumbai High Court
16th June 2016. See article from indianexpress.com
The India film censors of the CBFC have made a bit of censorship history by naming the judges
as the presiding film censors responsible for the decision.
The certificate states: Passed by Hon'ble High Court, Mumbai. Share This Article Share Related Article
Mumbai Regional Officer Raju Vaidya, who has signed the certificate, said it was prepared as per norms. This is the norm; the name of whoever has cleared the film is on the certificate, he told The Indian Express .
However, a CBFC employee, who did not want to be named, said till date a film's certificate has never had to bear the name of judicial officers. It will carry names of the committee members present at the screening. And in this case, the judges anyway
didn't watch the film. Other films rated after judicial intervention have not mentioned judges or the court on certificates.
Update: The BBFC take on the film
16th June 2016. See article from bbfc.co.uk
The BBFC have rated the film 15 uncut for strong language, violence, threat, drug misuse, drug references
Update: Pakistan too
20th June 2016. See article from hindustantimes.com
After a trouble censorship process in India, it's now time for Udta Punjab to strugglewith Pakistan's film censors.
According to Fakhr-Alam, chairman of Censor Board Sindh, the film has been viewed by the Board and they have asked the distributor to make changes:
We have told the distributor to delete the bad language, swear words, which are extremely explicit and in direct conflict with the law and censor code. We will [then] review to see that the compliance has been adhered to and then issue a certificate.
Update: 100 cuts
20th June 2016. See article from dnaindia.com
The Pakistani censor board has given a green signal to the release of Indian movie Udta Punjab in Pakistan after suggesting more than 100 cuts to remove objectionable and anti-Pakistan content from the film.
Update: Mohalla Assi banned too
25th June 2016. See article from indianexpress.com
The censor board has banned it's own board member Dr. Chandraprakash Diwedi's highly controversial film Mohalla Assi , which
pokes fun at the commercialisation of the holy city of Varanasi.
The entire film, which features some of the most risque lines heard in films in recent times, was also leaked on the Internet before its submission. The censor board decided to ban it completely. Apparently, the film evoked extreme reactions from
some of the members within the censor board.
The story, based on the well-known novel by Hindi writer Kashinath Singh is a scathing critique on the changes that have come upon the holy town of Varanasi.