Film fraternity on Wednesday rallied behind Anurag Kashyap and his upcoming movie Udta Punjab, which the Censor Board’s chief and known Narendra Modi disciple has refused to issue a certificate to.
Film-maker Mukesh Bhatt demanded immediate sacking of Nihalani, who has caused embarrassment to the central government through his perceived ‘nonsensical’ statements and decisions.
His brother, Mahesh Bhatt asked if the government was hell-bent on turning India into Saudi Arabia..
He said, “The year is 2016, we have a globally connected population. All the talk of growth and progress is poppycock if the freedom of our founding fathers is taken away. Do you want to turn India into Saudi Arabia?”
Zoya Akhtar said, “There are many things which are made which offend me by how they portray women. But I cannot stop them. I can choose not to buy the ticket. Udta Punjab needs to release, denying a problem does not help it.”
Actor Shahid Kapoor, who’s playing the lead role in Udta Punjab, said, “Let us make sure we fight for what this country stands for.”
While writing for NDTV, Karan Johar called Nihalani’s symptom as Censorrhoea, which according to him is “also known as Censoritus. And it might be about to become an epidemic. ”
Film-maker and actor, Satish Kaushik said, “Normally film industry offers silent support, for the first time we all have come out openly on a issue.”
The unprecedented reaction from Bollywood fraternity against Nihalani and the central government came after the controversial Censor Board chief alleged that Anurag Kashyap had received money from Aam Aadmi Party to show Punjab in poor light.
Nihalani, had told Times Now, “I heard Anurag Kashyap took money from Aam Aadmi Party.” He further said that Anurag took money to show Punjab in bad light.”
An angry Kashyap responded saying Nihalani challenging him to prove his stunning allegations.
He said, “I feel ashamed in even defending myself on such an allegation(taking money from AAP). What’s changed in the last two years that every film has to go to tribunal for clearance?”
While speaking to NDTV, Nihalani, defended the Censor Board’s decision on recommending dozens of cuts for Udta Punjab while denying involvement of the Centre’s BJP-led government for his actions.
He said, “The centre never interferes with the Censor Board, there was no political influence.”
Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, said that Nihalani’s allegation against Kashyap conclusively proved that the his action against Udta Punjab was at the instruction of the BJP.
He said, “Pahlaj Nihlani’s statement makes it amply clear that he has stopped the film on BJP’s instructions.”
The movie explores the growing menace of drugs in Punjab. The Akali-BJP combine fear the movie will hurt them in the next year’s assembly elections.
Punjab is being ruled by BJP and Akali Dal combine under whose regime the menace of drugs has assumed alarming proportions affectiong hundreds of thousands of families across the state.
The BJP-Akali combine fears that the release of the movie in its original form will prove to be a proverbial nail in the coffin as far as it electoral chances in the state for next year’s assembly elections are concerned.