CHANDIGARH, May 27: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt Amarinder Singh has condemned the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) for outrightly banning the Hindi movie Udta Punjab, saying it has clearly been done at the behest of the Akali-BJP government in Punjab. “The movie has been banned clearly with a guilty conscience”, he remarked.
Capt Amarinder also had a dig at Arun Jailtely, who besides being the Finance Minister also happens to be the Information and Broadcasting Minister, and controls the Censor Board, for being party to this authoritarian decision to ban a movie that depicts the sad and harsh reality of Punjab.
“If you think that by banning a movie, that depicts the harsh reality of the drug scourge in Punjab, you will hide the truth from the world, you are badly mistaken”, Capt Amarinder told the Akali-BJP, who are clearly behind the Censor Board’s decision of banning the movie, in a statement issued here today.
Referring to Mr Jaitely, Capt Amarinder regretted his being party to the decision. “At least Mr Jaitely should have stood against the ban as nobody can know it better than him as how serious is the drug problem in Punjab”, he said, while pointing out, “moreover the problem of drugs and the people involved and associated with it and who managed his campaign, were the main causes of his (Jaitely’s) defeat from Amritsar”.
The PCC president hailed the efforts of the makers of the movie for adopting such a difficult subject that presents the pain and pathos of Punjab. “Unfortunately the powers that be do not want to see the reality and the writing on the wall and they have simply tried to run away, little realising that more they try to hush up and hide it, the more it will be exposed and revealed to the outside world”, he observed.
The former Chief Minister said, going into the denial mode was quite characteristic of the Akalis and the BJP. “While the whole world knows Punjab is faced with serious problem of drugs, the Akalis and the BJP are in a perpetual denial mode and when somebody in Bollywood tried to present our pain before the world, they have decided to gag the effort”, he remarked.
Capt Amarinder stated that the ban also violates and undermines the spirit of Article 19 of the Constitution of the country that guarantees freedom of speech and expression. “Rather the violation is more serious in this case as the movie aimed at presenting a grim and harsh reality of Punjab before everybody”, he said.