Chandigarh: Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced that he will release uncensored copies of Bollywood movie Udta Punjab in Majitha town near Amritsar on 17 June.
Udta Punjab has run into trouble with the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) over references to Punjab and the drugs racket in the state.
The Congress leader said: "Majitha town, like Mexico, is the epicentre of drugs trade in Punjab. It was decided to release the movie there." The movie's release is scheduled for 17 June.
Amarinder said he has written to the movie's producers Anurag Kashyap and Ekta Kapoor, urging them to provide copies of the uncensored movie on compact discs so that he can release it simultaneously with its worldwide premiere.
"The purpose of releasing the movie in Majitha is to tell the (ruling) Akalis and the BJP that no matter to what extent they try to go to gag the truth, I will expose it at any cost," Amarinder said in a statement here.
"Not only do we want to highlight the harsh reality of Punjab, but also assert the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by our Constitution, which is being infringed upon by the BJP at the behest of the Akalis, using the censor board," the Congress leader said in the letter to the producers.
Amarinder also clarified to Udta Punjab's producers that all the legal onus of releasing the uncensored CDs of the movie will be on him only.
"I guarantee you that I will take the entire responsibility of the legal implications, if any, for releasing the uncensored CDs as we want the truth to be told, no matter at what price," he said.
He said Majitha town in Amritsar district had become synonymous with 'chitta' (synthetic drug, in common parlance) that has affected an entire generation in Punjab.
The Congress leader clarified that in order to ensure that the commercial interests of the producers are not hurt, the movie will be shown only on the day of the release at Majitha, as a protest and defiance against what he called was the "dictatorial attitude" of the CBFC, and also in border areas as people there rarely get a chance to watch the movies in theatres.
Complimenting the movie's producers for portraying the harsh reality of Punjab on the big screen, the Lok Sabha member from Amritsar said Udta Punjab depicted the ground reality in the state.