Politicians of several hue tried to shut down 'Udta Punjab' alleging that it showed the state in poor light.
After being locked in a bitter censorship row, the drug-themed film finally hit the screens as scheduled on Friday.
The Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh starrer looks into how a large number of youth in Punjab have succumbed to drugs also triggered a political slugfest and multiple legal battles.
'Udta Punjab' poster
Punjab goes to polls next year, so it's understandable that politicians will try to gain mileage from issues or try to kill them if it hurts them.
So what is the reality in the state? Does Punjab have drug problem?
According to 'The Punjab Opioid Dependency Survey' (PODS) conducted by the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, AIIMS, the estimated number of drug dependent people currently residing in Punjab is 2,32,856.
A brief summary of the report was even uploaded on the official website of Punjab government's Department of Health and Family Welfare.
The data for the survey, conducted between February and April 2015, was collected from a total of 3620 opioid dependent individuals across 10 districts of the state. The data states warns, the number of users is always higher than the number of dependents. "The estimates for opioid users in Punjab could be around 8.6 lakh," the survey states.
Based upon the analysis of the data, about 76% opioid dependent individuals in Punjab are in the age group of 18 to 35 years and a large majority (89%) are literate and have some degree of formal education. Now, if that's not worrying, what is?
Don't believe the survey? Well, how about this image.
They say 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. Well, how many words do you thing this image is worth?
Two youths inhale drugs on the outskirts of Jalandhar in Punjab on Wednesday. Pic/AFP
While, some may decry this image as a one-off and say that one can't generalise from it. But that the two youngsters are consuming drug in the open with such impunity is really shocking.
The image should act as a grim reminder of the situation to the establishment and galvanise them into action.
The image isn't enough? How about a joke that will give you a strong dose of reality?
This joke that has been doing the rounds of social media and WhatsApp groups for some time also paints a dark picture. It is the perfect example of black humour and should not be brushed off lightly.
Guy 1: 'Udta Punjab' has been banned.
Guy 2: Why?
Guy 1: Drugs problem in Punjab.
Guy 2: Punjab Mein Drugs Problem Nahi Hai, Sab Aaram Se Milta Hai! (There isn't any drug problem in Punjab, it is easily available).