As soon as the trailer of Shahid Kapoor-starer Udta Punjab came out, the film caught the attention of many for its sensitive plot. The story line focuses on Punjab’s drug problem, which the state has not been able to curtail. Documentaries have been shot and the issue has been written about extensively in regional and national media. In fact, curbing the drug problem in the state is one of the Aam Admi Party’s agenda in 2017 Assembly elections.
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Despite this, Bhartiya Janata Party said Punjab has no drug problem. Union Minister of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, “I don’t think there is any problem”; the Akali Dal-BJP government in the state was doing an “excellent work”.
The Central Board of Film Certification has asked the film-makers to remove ‘Punjab’ from dialogues, “acknowledging” that the government and the police are fighting the drug menace, removing close-up scenes of characters injecting drugs, words such as election, MP, party, MLA, Parliament and the list goes on.
But the bigger question remains, will censoring relevant parts of this film negate the fact that the problem exists and demands attention?
Here are five videos and documentaries on the issue that are out there on the Web for everyone to watch sans cuts.
A documentary by Sahil Bhagat and Smaran Sahu, which claims that 70 per cent of Punjab’s youth is addicted to drugs. The documentary goes on to show a multimillion-dollar drug nexus between different government departments.
The documentary shows how the problem has gripped rural Punjab, where at least one person in most households is addicted to heroin.
In this video, a bunch of young boys narrate how they supply the drugs in the state and at what rate.
A young man narrates how drug addiction completely ruined his life. He tried to quit, but failed, and he has no one to blame but himself. He goes on to state the condition of the state which, according to him, is very unfortunate.