Abhishek Chaubey's UDTA PUNJAB Refused Certification By Indian Censor Board

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Abhishek Chaubey's UDTA PUNJAB Refused Certification By Indian Censor Board

Abhishek Chaubey's (Ishquiya, Dedh Ishquiya) Udta Punjab has been refused certification by the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) in India, meaning it cannot be released to theaters as it now exists. The film is Chaubey's exploration of the out of control drug abuse problem in the Indian region of Punjab. According to some estimates, the rate of youth drug addiction in Punjab - and heroin in particular - is double the rate in the rest of India. In 2012, the problem had reached international notariety and was covered in The New York Times.

Chaubey's film looks at several characters from disparate backgrounds and how this drug abuse culture has affected them and by extension the people around them. With big name stars like Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, and rising stars like Diljit Dosanjh and Satish Kaushik, the film has no lack of visibility.

There was never any question that the film would raise some eyebrows, and in fact when the trailer was passed by the CBFC without cuts, even Anurag Kashyap - whose Phantom Films produced Udta Punjab - was surprised and thankful. It appears as though the CBFC's charity has reached its limits, though, as the full film has been rejected by the censorship board due to excessive swearing according to the Hindustan Times.

While this is certainly a stumbling block, Phantom Films are most likely going to find a way to work this out and get the film into theaters by it's June 17th release date. It may require a few cuts, the CBFC often recommends cuts in order pass difficult films. Alternately the producers can choose to go to an appellate board to circumvent the CBFC's decision. This was the case when 2015's MSG: The Messenger faced similar issues that ended up irrevocably changing the face of the CBFC.

Udta Punjab is still slated for release on June 17th, and I expect we'll have some kind of compromise by then. Check out the trailer below:

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Abhishek ChaubeySudip SharmaAlia BhattShahid KapoorDiljit DosanjhKareena KapoorCrimeDramaThriller

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