Filmmaker Vikram Bhatt has criticised the censor board after watching Udta Punjab, saying the films being made in the country are treated “like patients in a mental institution”.
Bhatt shared his views in an elaborate Facebook post, wherein he shared his views on the Abhishek Chaubey directorial that was mired in controversy.
“Our films are being treated like patients in a decadent mental institution where shock therapy is given to all the patients. Then, they lie in the corner in a vegetative state, no one any different from the other,” Bhatt wrote. “No individuality… Just lumps of controllable protoplasm adhering to the parameters of social behaviour laid down by minds that cannot see the world for what it is,” he added.
Criticising the Central Board of Film Certification’s (CBFC) objection towards the language used in the film, Bhatt wrote: “The CBFC had not met any of those people I had in the film. They just saw what they should make of people. There is no foul language in the film; it is just the language the people use”.
“The doctor did not curse, but Tommy, the rock star, did. That was the difference between the two. Did the CBFC want to make them similar? They wanted to make a cokehead and a doctor speak the same lingo? Really?” The Love Games director said that “we are living in very dangerous times”.
“‘Udta Punjab’ wanted to expose the menace of drugs but instead it ended up exposing much more. It exposed the inability of the keepers of our culture to see that all types of people exist, and we as an audience have the right to meet them,” he wrote.
He also emphasised on the importance of freedom of speech for writers. “If I cannot tell stories about the world I live in, if I cannot tell stories about the people who live here with me, if I cannot go to places where there is pain and misery, if I cannot tell you how those people speak, if I cannot distinguish between good and bad, if I cannot give you a slice of life, a slice of the world I live in, then I am a storyteller in chains,” Bhatt wrote.
The release of “Udta Punjab” was beset with trouble after the CBFC first suggested 89 cuts, but later the Revising Committee asked for 13 cuts. The makers moved the Bombay High Court which on Monday overruled the CBFC-recommended cuts and cleared it for release with just one cut and three disclaimers by the filmmakers.