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'Udta Punjab' censor woes spark outrage on social media

Reports that the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal might have asked makers of Udta Punjab to drop Punjab from the title spark angry as well as hilarious reactions from netizens

After being asked to effect nearly 40 cuts in Udta Punjab, the makers had knocked on the doors of the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) hoping for some respite. However, amidst reports that the tribunal has suggested that ‘Punjab’ be dropped from the film’s title, social media went berserk with reactions that ranged from angry to hilarious.

Also read: mid-day editorial: You can't censor reality

Shahid Kapoor

While the makers are tightlipped about any such development, sources close to the film say that they are awaiting an official communication regarding the same. The film deals with rampant drug abuse in the northern state.

The film starring Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh was slated to hit theatres on June 17. However, given the censor issues, the release date is likely to be delayed by two weeks or perhaps, more.

Interestingly, Censor Board member Ashoke Pandit posted a series of tweets that read, “I as a filmmaker & a citizen of this country condemn d act of asking the producers 2 remove d word ‘Punjab’ from the film. I question the intelligence of the committee which has given this judgement of removing the word ‘Punjab’ from #UdtaPunjab. I as a #CBFC member appeal to the #Chairman to take a call as a filmmaker & protect the FOE of a filmmaker (sic).”

Bollywood folk also joined the debate on Twitter and slammed the alleged decision to change the title. The sarcasm in Ram Gopal Varma’s post was hard to miss as he wrote, “For what it actually represents Udta Punjab Is diminutive.. A more truthful and righteous title would be Udta India or Udta World.”

Shirish Kunder tweeted: “You may feel it’s not fair to remove Punjab from Udta Punjab. But wait till Maneka Gandhi tells to remove Tommy from Tommy Singh (name of Shahid’s character).

A large number of netizens seemed outraged and made their disgust as well as frustration obvious through their comments on social media. Aisi Taisi Democracy posted a tongue-in-cheek tweet: “No drug problem in Punjab No caste problem in India No gun problem in US No dictator problem in N. Korea No denial problem on this planet.” Twitter user Priya Adivarekar wrote: “Demanding multiple cuts, deleting the main track & other elements. What do you want Udta Punjab to be in the end? A Snapchat video? #Unfair (sic).”

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