Bollywood relieved as 'Udta Punjab' allowed to fly

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Old 14-Jun-2016
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Bollywood relieved as 'Udta Punjab' allowed to fly

Film industry bigwigs were a relieved lot as the Bombay High Court overruled almost all cuts recommended by the censor board for the film 'Udta Punjab'

"Today I salute the courage of my producer and the hard work that my lawyers have put. Now, the film has been passed and we're going to fight for the release on June 17. I am terribly pleased with the verdict and relieved," Udta Punjab's director Abhishek Chaubey said outside the Bombay High Court.

The CBFC's CEO Anurag Shrivastav said, "We respect it (verdict) and will comply with it. It is not a setback. For us it's not about victory and defeat.Film industry and the censor board are on the same page. As far as we are concerned, we try to follow the act according to the guidelines.'' Director Sudhir Mishra said, "The verdict is fantastic. It makes me proud. This is great that the court has stood by young filmmaker Abhishek Cahubey who makes interesting and relevant films. The other filmmakers will now think freely ."

Filmmaker Karan Johar tweeted, "And justice there is!!!!!!!!!... as a filmmaker I feel empowered and relieved!!!!" Madhur Bhandarkar said, "It is a landmark judgement.The honourable court has given a positive judgement. I have always faced problems with the board since `Chandni Bar' to `Calendar Girl'... So today it is a victory of filmmakers," he said.
The film's music composer Amit Trivedi could barely contain his excitement. "Woohoo finally Udta Punjab can fly .Freedom of expression wins the battle. High Court passes with just 1cut," he tweeted. On a lighter note director Shekhar Kapur wrote: "Can't wait for uncut version of #UdtaPunjab n thank you #CensorBoard for giving helping it get such a huge opening."
Ashoke Pandit, a member of the CBFC board and president of the Indian Film and Television Director's Association, who had steered the campaign in favour of `Udta Punjab', expressed a sigh of relief when TOI spoke to him on Monday . "Finally we've won the battle and the confidence of every filmmaker has risen today . It was a fight against thoughts ridden with arrogance and one-upmanship. All this does not suit the chairman of a respectable body . It's a respite to the humiliation that he's caused so many filmmakers," he said.
Shazia Ilmi, BJP member and a member of the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal rebutted allegations that various censor board members were politically motivated."The FCAT has often overturned CBFC's decision and cleared films. Both CBFC and FCAT are government appointed bodies. People in it have dif ferent points of view but that does not necessarily mean that someone's affiliation to a political party dictates their judgement. The FCAT has the power to only intervene and hear an appeal about a disputed film. The Shyam Benegal committee has submitted its recommendations to the ministry and it is now up to them to implement the new code," Ilmi said.
Many people in the film industry had earlier come out in support of the film, including actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan and filmmaker Zoya Akhtar.

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