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Udta Punjab did what Punjab govt failed to do about its drug abuse problem: Renuka Chowdhury

News Agencies | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:49 IST

Congress MP Renuka Chowdhury has joined the growing list of politicians taking potshots at the Punjab government over the Udta Punjab controversy.

"They (the government) should welcome the film which saved the government's money in advertising and creating awareness on drugs," Chowdhury said on 11 June.

On 10 June, the Bombay High Court adjourned the hearing of the Shahid Kapoor-starrer Udta Punjab, a film highlighting the rampant drug menace and its impact on the youth in Punjab. The court will pronounce its order on the matter on 13 June.

She said that instead of protesting on the film else where they should set their house in order.

"I am also aware that from Punjab there are hundreds of representatives who have bitterly complained about the influx of drugs there. It is the total failure of the state government and it is their responsibility to solve this. They have taken votes from the citizens, don't they have a sense of responsibility towards them?" she added.

She further said that it is a good signal for the state government to realise that they have a real problem in Punjab and banning this film, stopping it is not going to remove the reality that Punjab is drug infested.

"It is not going to help the state government to win this election by banning these films instead it is creating awareness among citizens. Be grateful and be obliged to your citizens and make sure that the future generation of Punjab thrives healthily," she added.

The High Court, which is presently hearing a case against Udta Punjab, told the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) that the multiplex audience is mature enough, adding that people should be allowed to see the film as everybody has a choice.

During the hearing, the CBFC lawyer informed the court that the words used in the songs of the film are very offensive, the scenes in the movie which have been asked to cut are very vulgar, the dialogue "zameen banjar to aulaad kanjar" is also very abusive and the dog, which has been named as Jackie Chan, which is also objectionable.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley had on Thursday said film certification norms will have to be liberal and 'some very radical changes' will be announced over the next few days.

The film Udta Punjab was handed down 89 cuts by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and its makers have appealed in the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).

FCAT is expected to hear the case on 17 June when the film was scheduled for release.

The CBFC has contended that Udta Punjab, a drug-themed crime thriller, needed several cuts as it cast the state in a bad light by giving an impression that most people there were addicts.

The numerous cuts sparked a confrontation between Bollywood filmmakers, the censor board and political parties.

On the row, Jaitley said, "I think that we are overstating it because at the end of the day, you have a board which takes a view which may be a little conservative view but then at the appeal tribunal, with an appeal, it can get disposed of. My experience has been almost everything then gets cleared."


First published: 11 June 2016, 6:08 IST