Updated: June 10, 2016 4:03:47 pm
Breaking his silence on the Udta Punjab row, Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal Thursday asked his opponents to “stop spreading canards” about a government ban on release of the film, which he said “allegedly categorically and specifically describes Punjabis” as “Kanjar” (crooked) and its land as “Banjar” (barren). He insisted that the controversy was a matter between the producers and the censor board and the state government had nothing to do with it.
“For us, it is one of the countless such films produced for commercial reasons. Whether to allow its release or not is an issue between the producers and the CBFC. The government has nothing to do with it. It is for the censors to see whether the film meets or violates the fundamental principles of balance between freedom of expression on the one hand and deliberately or inadvertently blackening the face of a state, a community or a faith on the other,” Sukhbir said.
He claimed that it was absurd to even suggest the state government’s intervention at this stage. “Neither CM Parkash Singh Badal nor I nor anyone else at political or administrative level in the government has seen the film so far.”
CM Badal said that the state government could not be held responsible for the controversy as the CBFC was “exclusively under the control of the Centre”.
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