You all must have heard about the movie Udta Punjab. How can you not? It has become a global issue now. This is the same movie whose some of very important scenes are recommended to be censored at the behest of Narendra Modi. I was wondering when Indian Prime Minister could have seen the movie – probably during his flight from Switzerland to the US? Yeah, quite possible and from there he must have called Pahlaj Nihlani, wait, but he had delivered some magnificent speech in US congress the other day, was he not preparing for that speech? Ohh, why I do start talking about logic every time? My bad. But yes, it is the same movie.
Everybody knows everything about Udta Punjab. So why is this post?
This post is intended to thank Aam Aadmi Party for explaining the meaning of the slogan “Sab mile hue hain Ji” to mortals like us.
First of all, let me summarize it for you – Udta Punjab is directed by Abhishek Chaubey starring Shahid, Aalia and Kareena in lead roles. It is based on the drug menace in Punjab. It is slated to release on 17th June. Censor Board has ‘unconstitutionally’ cut large parts of the movie. It is akin to curbing the freedom of expression. India has become North Korea. Saffron terror is rising. Oh! And RSS is brutal than ISIS.
Now let us do some time travel!
In the year 2013, the time when Indian politics was being revolutionised. People from all walks of life had left their jobs, aspirations and comforts to be a part of this revolution. They came, became the media buzz, offered the prayers to the greatest leader and disappeared (or ousted?).
One of the many was Sameer Nair – the small screen giant and an Architect of Indian television daily soaps. On 17th October 2013, Kejriwal had announced his induction from his twitter handle:
Sameer Nair joins AAP. Helping us wid our communications. Thanks so much Sameer ji.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 18, 2013
The unique experience of working with Ekta Kapoor and Pranab Roy had made Sameer Nair the ideal person to help Aam Aadmi Party with their communications. The role of Sameer Nair was well defined in the Party. In one of his interviews to mid-day, he said, ” I helped AAP shoot ad films for the first Delhi elections in 2013. Later, I worked with the Mumbai chapter and helped in publicity and fund raising.”
While Sameer Nair was working for AAP full time, he got a call from Balaji Telefilms which was running in trouble after their CEO Manuj Agarwal quit. Sameer Nair was first inducted in the advisory board of Balaji Telefilms and later made the Group CEO in July 2014.
Within few months of him becoming the group CEO of Balaji, Anurag Kashyap and his Phantom production got a proposal of Balaji Motion pictures wanting to acquire the rights of the upcoming Movie Udta Punjab. The association of a big production house like Balaji could mean more money, more screens, and more promotions. The talks were closed and Balaji acquired the rights of the movie in March 2015. On top of it, Sameer Nair himself became a co-producer of the Udta Punjab.
Punjab is poll-bound for early next year. It’s a very important election for Aam Aadmi Party to showcase that their presence is not limited only to Delhi. Aam Aadmi party has done some aggressive campaigns against the SAD government on the drug problems of the state and made it one of the major election issues. The movie like Udta Punjab will definitely benefit AAP – provided the Udta Punjab releases just before the election campaign heat up.
Anurag Kashyap has a history of delayed projects. His directorial debut film Paanch, never got any theatrical release due to the censorship issues. The release of his next film Black Friday was held up for two years due to the pending verdict of 1993 blast. Even Gulaal was delayed after initial shooting due to lack of finance. Moreover, the accounts of Phantom film is not so great and they are always under some financial pressure.
That’s why the role of Sameer Nair, in particular, was so important for AAP’s perspective. He served as an anchor for the expedient delivery of the project. Also, the movie became more Punjab centric after Sameer’s involvement like the inclusion of Punjabi heartthrob Diljit Dosanjh. In an interview, the debutant actor said, “it was the turban which got me this role as the promoters were wanting a guy with a turban”.
The recent controversies surrounding the movie and Kashyap taking the center stage has made the AAP and Balaji nervous due to the concerns of possible delays in the release of the film. Anurag Kashyap seems unwilling to accept any cuts proposed by CBFC. Initially, AAP and their leader had mounted pressure on CBFC to make them fall in line but now as the original release is less than a week away, Balaji films has threatened to backout from the project. Balaji films have very categorically said that they are ready to go by the Censor Board’s cuts as long as the film releases on scheduled date i.e June 17.
An ordinary man like me could have never understood the meaning of the great quotes like “sab mile hue hain ji” unless the man himself had not taken the onus to educate us. And look what a cause he has chosen- an entrepreneur, a political enthusiast, a party worker, a political party, a chief minister, some media houses, a film production company, few actors and few celebrities have come together to help the greatest political party on the earth to win an election.