Udta Punjab row: Bollywood has one voicehttps://indianexpress.com/photos/entertainment-gallery/udta-punjab-censor-board-anurag-kashyap-cbfc-pahlaj-nihalani-shahid-kapoor-alia-bhatt-2843140/

Udta Punjab row: Bollywood has one voice

Udta Punjab's lead actors Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, alongwith filmmakers Mahesh Bhatt, Mukesh Bhatt, producers Anurag Kashyap, Ekta Kapoor, director Abhishek Chaubey and other film fraternities held a press conference on Wednesday (June 8) to fight against the film's censorship in Mumbai.

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It was a rare occasion when many members from the industry, came together to speak out against the “dictatorship” of CBFC chairperson, Pahlaj Nihalani, who has been in office for the last one year. Udta Punjab's lead actors Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, alongwith filmmakers Mahesh Bhatt, Mukesh Bhatt, producers Anurag Kashyap, Ekta Kapoor, director Abhishek Chaubey and other film fraternities held a press conference on Wednesday (June 8) to fight against the film's censorship in Mumbai.

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Supporting free speech and freedom of expression, a grim looking Shahid Kapoor said, “We live in the age of information and technology. Our generation and youth has the right to be informed. If they are not getting informed, then there is a problem. Youth has the right to know drugs are a menace. They have a right to know what can happen if they get into it whether it is the youth of Punjab, Maharashtra or whole of India.”

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Mahesh Bhatt, Mukesh Bhatt and Anurag Kashyap alleged that the Censor Board was intentionally delaying the film’s clearance.

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Mahesh Bhatt, producer Ekta Kapoor, Vikas Bahl and Zoya Akhtar during Udta Punjab press conference.

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Alia Bhatt, Sudhir Mishra and Shahid Kapoor during the conference.

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“I called up Anurag (Kashyap), who has been a friend as well as the film’s producer, and told him let’s go with the cuts because it isn’t worth the fight. But then we decided that even if we lose and release the film with the cuts, let’s fight the battle because we will be fighting for what is right,” said Chaubey.

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Expressing his displeasure on the goings-on, Kashyap also openly targetted the I&B Ministry, saying, “Each time a new I&B minister is appointed in any government, it gives us a lot of hope. We think this person will take interest in us. I was especially hopeful when Rajyavardhan Rathore met us and assured us that things will be sorted.”

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Kashyap went on to claim that Nihalani has been lying to the press that the makers of Udta Punjab didn’t collect the letter with the suggested changes by the Revising Committee on Monday. “In fact, we sent him a notice on Tuesday and we have a signed receipt from CBFC stating that it has been received,” he said.

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“That is something intolerable, unacceptable to film fraternity and we want him out. His move is malicious and vicious. He lies, delays the process and will bully the person,” Mukesh Bhatt, President, the Film and Producers Guild of India, told reporters at a joint news conference in Mumbai that included the cast of the film.

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Filmmaker Imtiaz Ali was also at the press conference.

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Udta Punjab's lead actors Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt arrive at the press conference.

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Director Zoya Akhtar was also seen coming in to speak out against the “dictatorship” of CBFC chairperson, Pahlaj Nihalani.