Everyone's talking about Anurag Kashyap's Udta Punjab, and it's kinda understandable. The Kareena-Shahid-Alia-Diljit starrer tackles a decidedly sensitive (albeit one that needs to be tackled) issue—Punjab's drug problem.
According to the Indian Express' Chandigarh Bureau, Punjab's drug issue is bigger and more elephantine that we would imagine. According to their report, the police only arrest drug users and not suppliers. And when these addicts are jailed, the healthcare in prisons across Punjab is so inadequate that every 4 days 1 person booked for drug abuse dies in police custody. Separately, an (alarming) AIMS survey says that as many as 8.6 lakh people in Punjab—of a total population of 2.77 crore— abuse heroin or other opiods.
It's a problem that needs the entire nation's support—which is why Udta Punjab is a film that everybody needs to watch.
That's also why people everywhere were annoyed when The Central Board of Film Certification cracked down on Udta Punjab and refused to let it release. Why? Because they believed it would cast Punjab in a bad light, and gives the impression that most of
them are addicts. In the words of Pahlaj Nihalani, the head of the film board: "We couldn't allow Punjab to be damned and labelled a drug haven," he told Hindustan Times.
Anyhoo, now the film has FINALLY been cleared for release, rated 'A' for adult viewing, and with 13 cuts. Amongst the scenes that have been cut, there's one where a man is shown urinating on a crowd, and another where a chap is scratching himself vulgarly. "We have today cleared Udta Punjab under A category after 13 cuts," Nihalani told reporters. "The CBFCs job is now over. It is now up to the producer to go to the court or tribunal. We will implement the order."
So that's that. The film is slated for release on June 17th, and as you can imagine with all the hype around it, we're gonna be pre-booking our tickets, like, right now.