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Pahlaj Nihalani Pressurising Us To Delay 'Udta Punjab' Release Is A Strategy: Anurag Kashyap

A file photo of Anurag Kashyap. (Image: Yogen Shah)

A file photo of Anurag Kashyap. (Image: Yogen Shah)

After making his opinion clear on the ongoing ‘Udta Punjab’ row, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap took to Faebook to challenge allegations that he had taken money from AAP to show Punjab in a bad light through his much-anticipated film ‘Udta Punjab’.

After making his opinion clear on the ongoing ‘Udta Punjab’ row, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap took to Faebook to challenge allegations that he had taken money from AAP to show Punjab in a bad light through his much-anticipated film ‘Udta Punjab’. Following the Censor Board’s decision to ask the makers to include 89 cuts in the movie to get a release certificate, Anurag had condemned Nihalani for being an "oligarch" as head of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).      

In the post that he had posted on Facebook, Anurag wote, “I have had run ins with censor many times. First was Paanch which everyone still believes was banned by censors. The truth is the film was cleared by revising committee after a few cuts and two disclaimers, and the same version, the cleared one is available on the net. Black Friday was cleared uncut by censors but were blocked by the court as the case was under trial. Finally Justice Sabharwal cleared the film for exhibition in two years from when it was blocked even before the verdict was out. A lot of film stayed intact except some references to Shiv Sena that were cut out under pressure. Gulaal was never caught up in any censor issue, the film had few references muted in one dialogue. It was stuck in production. Most of the lists the trolls are floating on the net of a million cuts on every film are lists of cuts made for TV of the adult films. Ugly was never stuck with censor board, it was cleared. We decided to push the film to fight the health ministry on anti smoking logo. It was our decision to fight the then government and we lost the case , in Court. Film came out intact. Water was not allowed to shoot at all and that was not during the UPA government and that's when first time I met Mr. Jaitley and was an admirer of his since. But in all the battles , I never felt that I was being silenced or blackmailed into doing something against my will. All those battles were a fair fight of belief systems, all those fights were not being lost , not knowing what's going on. All those battles we knew who and what the enemy was, be it a person , a thought or just the understanding of the board. This one is different. This was blackmail, this has been a wall of lies.”

He also slammed Nihalani for accusing him of taking money from AAP. “We got the official letter in a day after going to press and imdtly after the first hearing of the court. We have a signed acknowledgement from Mr. Nihalani's office dated yesterday 7 th June , which requests him to give us the official copy. So him saying he gave the letter on Monday is a lie and proof of all his lies. Him pressurising us to delay release, and accepting cuts is and was a thought through strategy. His accusing me of taking money from AAP is not just a lie , is a diversion from the real issue to make the fight for a filmmaker's right into a political battle. And in this he is being helped by all the trolls to make sure that the real issue somewhere is lost in the political blame game. So I request to not get involved in any rumour mongering and let us stick to the real honest issue of freedom of expression and free thought and our rights as film makers versus the censorship. No I am not a member of AAP or Congress not do I associate with any other political party. I have made more films without a fees than anyone else and I don't take money that is not earned from anyone. Thank you”