Bollywood has always felt that their should only be certification of films and not censoring, as many on the censor board were not in tune with the current times. And the same has now been confirmed by the High Court.

Anurag Kashyap on CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani

  • Anurag Kashyap, who is co-producer of the film “Udta Punjab” blamed CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani for obstructing the film’s release, including dropping the word ‘Punjab’ from the title, besides the 89 cuts.
  • It seems, at one point, Anurag had complained to the Minister of State for Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which eventually had pulled up Nihalani. As per Anurag, the move angered Nihalani and he’s hell bent on settling the scores.
  • “You can’t have a conversation with Pahlaj Nihalani, it’s just a monologue, he talks and you listen. He asked us to remove ‘Punjab’, references to name of cities, election, commission, MP, MLC, some dialogues.” said Anurag.
  • Anurag says he has lost faith in Nihalani after he saw the same people sitting in both examining and revising committee.

Pahlaj Nihalani’s Response

  • Mr Kashyap is like a child being denied a toy. He loves to make a noise every time a film directed or produced by him is released. I believe he has called me an extremely egotistical man. A lot of people feel the same about him.
  • Says Nihalani, “I haven’t met him (Anurag Kashyap) even once about Udta Punjab. We’ve never spoken on this matter. In the past when a film produced by him – NH 10 – was in censor trouble, I did my best to help him follow the censor guidelines.
  • When there was objection to his title Bombay Velvet, we at the CBFC passed the title to ensure Mr Kashyap’s creative urges do not get suppressed. Now when he is not getting his way with the CBFC, I’m the biggest villain in the creative world. So be it.
  • The Udta Punjab makers call the movie a ‘work of fiction’, but how can it be a work of fiction if the film names every major town in Punjab from Amritsar to Tarn Taran as a drug den?
  • He wants to know why we haven’t given him a formal letter about the cuts. It’s because the film is with the revising committee. Until they come to a decision, we cannot issue a formal letter.
  • The CBFC never stopped any film from being released on time. We suggested the cuts, which they agreed to take and promised to return after making the cuts. But, instead, Anurag Kashyap decided to go to the media. So its not our fault if the film doesn not get a certificate before its scheduled release date

Pahlaj Nihalani even accused Anurag Kashyap of taking money from AAP to fund the movie.

As the row got political, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal took the opportunity and tweeted the following.

However, Anurag says that its a lie. “No I am not a member of AAP or Congress not do I associate with any other political party. I have made more films without a fees than anyone else and I don’t take money that is not earned from anyone,” said Anurag.

Anurag was also miffed with Arvind Kejriwal’s tweets. “Please don’t colour my fight with any political affiliation because there is none. I request Congress, AAP and other political parties to stay out of my battle. It’s my Rights vs the Censorship. I speak only on my behalf. 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. Rest of you go pick your own fights. I will fight mine,” said Kashyap who has made films like Black Friday, Dev D and Gangs Of Wasseypur.

Bollywood Backs Kashyap

Meanwhile, top Bollywood filmmakers & actors have backed Anurag Kashyap’s “Udta Punjab” and have even demanded the removal of Pahlaj Nihalani.

  • Mukesh Bhatt, head of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India, demanded that the ministry remove Pahlaj Nihalani as he was trying to sabotage” Udta Punjab.
  • Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit said Mr Nihalani’s allegation that the film is funded by the Aam Aadmi Party was an “insult to the entire film industry,” and demanded an apology.
    Kashyap made it clear that “Punjab” cannot be separated from his film. “Only the audience has the right to reject a film, said” Anurag Kashyap.



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