Sections of the Hindi film industry have openly come out against the Central Board of Film Certification’s attempts to muzzle the upcoming movie Udta Punjab. Scheduled to open on July 17, Abhishek Chaubey’s Traffic-inspired ensemble drama explores the narcotics trade in Punjab through four characters – an addicted singer (Shahid Kapoor), a low-level drug mule (Alia Bhatt), a doctor (Kareena Kapoor Khan) and a police officer (Diljit Dosanjh). Members of the trade body Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association have thrown in their lot with Udta Punjab’s producers, Bajali Telefilms and Phantom Films, even as Nihalani, in a provocative interview to the Economic Times newspaper, claims that the film defames the state and its people.
Much of the battle is being fought in the Twitter trenches. Here are some of the dispatches.