Bollywood’s upcoming movie Udta Punjab is in the news for bringing Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan together, only onscreen. But there is one more reason why director Abhishek Chaubey‘s Udta Punjab which is based on dark humour, drugs abuse in Punjab, is grabbing the limelight. Do you remember Garam Masala actress Neetu Chandra? Well, she is angry and upset with the trailer of Udta Punjab as the director Abhishek Chaubey has portrayed Biharis in a negative limelight and usually Bihari characters are shown in the movies as corrupt politicians, cops, ruthless gangsters, and much more. And, Alia Bhatt who is playing the typical Bihari girl in Udta Punjab doesn’t agree with Neetu Chandra‘s open letter.
We will tell you about Alia‘s statement but first, you need to read Neetu Chandra‘s open letter which started the whole issue. Neetu said, “It’s disturbing to see the way Biharis have been portrayed in Hindi cinema over the last few years, the recent example being Alia Bhatt’s character from Udta Punjab and from whatever one understands from the promo of the film, director Abhishek Chaubey is guilty of strengthening the stereotype ofBiharis by creating Bhatt’s character the way it is, in Udta Punjab.
Unfortunately, almost all the films made by Prakash Jha, who also hails from Bihar, have always stereotyped Biharis showing them corrupt politicians, cops, and gangsters and in his movies, Bihar was always exaggerated to be the most dangerous place to visit as his films showed only either kidnapping and robbery and murders not realising that he himself along with leading Bollywood actors(part of his films) are maligning the name of Bihar whose history has been the most richest in the world.
The first educational university was set up in Rajgir, near Nalanda (Bihar) and several respected religions including Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism roots have developed in Bihar. Visionaries and scholars like Rajendra Prasad (first President of Republic of India), Ustad Bismillah Khan (Shehnai maestro), Bhikhari Thakur, Vatsyayana, Gonu Jha, Kunwar Singh, Maulana Mazhar ul Haq, Seewosagar Ramgoolam, Aryabhatt who invented zero among several hundreds of stalwarts of the world belong to Bihar. So why none of the makers from Bihar and outside Bihar have ever made stories and films on these stories? Because they think that they will keep making fun of Biharis in their films and TV programs and no one will say anything against them. Stop stereotyping Bihar because you have seen Bihar through your ears, not through your eyes.”
Now to such a lengthy letter and strong opinions brought up by Neetu Chandra, Pataka Kudi Alia Bhatt has only one answer. Alia said that it won’t be correct to pass a judgement by just watching the trailor and it’s important to watch the whole movie instead of baseless assumptions. After this reaction, no one questioned Alia Bhatt‘s sensibility and maturity. We feel it’s the best answer she gave so far and we hope Biharis are given good roles to play in upcoming movies so that Neetu and people who agree with her opinions also stay happy.