Members of National Students’ Union of India on Wednesday protested against the Central Board of Film Certification’s decision against the release of Bollywood movie Udta Punjab.
Burning effigies of the Badal government, the members of the Congress’s student wing alleged that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was only trying to politicise the release of the movie. “Drug problem exists among the youths of Punjab – that is undeniable. Instead of stepping up to solve the problem, the SAD only has political gain-making on their minds,” said a senior NSUI leader.
Sunny Mehta, another NSUI leader, said: “By asking for a ban on the movie or by even suggesting that the movie is vilifying Punjab just because it raises the issue of drug menace in the state, the censor board is curbing the artistic freedom of actors and artistes. All of this is clearly politically motivated.”
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He added that: “In all fairness, people of our nation should be allowed to see the movie in order to understand the extent and effects of the drug problem in Punjab.”
Criticising the Modi-led BJP government, a protester said: “Under the BJP-led central government, education was under attack over the last few months and now art and cinema is also under threat. We are not going to let that happen.”
The members staged a protest outside the Congress Bhawan in Sector 15 and attempted to march towards the Governor’s house. The student leaders clashed with the police, when they were stopped on the way.
As a result of the clash, five protesters were arrested from the spot and taken to the Sector 11 police station. They were however released later in the evening, after being detained for over four hours.