Dear Team Udta Punjab,
We hope that you’re in the prime of your life and enjoying the fruits of your hard work, especially the pains you all took for making Udta Punjab a grand success.
Two years later, everything is hunky dory. Nothing is wrong in Punjab, and everybody is going about their business. With your efforts, and those of the Congress and the AAP, the draconian government which allegedly encouraged substance abuse was booted out. Is the drug problem over though? Are drugs no more a menace in Punjab?
Released right before the elections, there is no doubt that your film created a lot of buzz for the right issue at the right time, and the whole of India woke up to the reality of Punjab. Your fight against the Censor Board only increased the support for your cause. Has the menace of drugs come to an end?
Dear Shahid Kapoor,
Thank you for playing that high on drugs desi rock star Tommy Singh. Your role reminded us of how a temporary high could bring a permanent low in your life. Doesn’t your heart break now when you see Punjabi kids high on drugs and dying in the streets, abandoned and neglected?
Dear Alia Bhatt,
We are quite indebted to you for essaying the role of the Bihari migrant Bauria. We know how your character became an easy target for the warring drug mafia in the state. Don’t you think that the mafia still exists and the gang-wars continue to maim Punjab? Don’t you feel it’s your right to speak up and address the issue head on? We haven’t forgotten your dedication to the nation as shown in ‘Raazi’. Can’t we expect a fraction of that dedication for this issue?
Dear Kareena Kapoor,
We thank you for coming out of that usual urban mold and essaying the role of a no nonsense doctor cum whistle-blower in this movie. Thank you for playing that doctor, who would leave no stone unturned to see that the drug addicts let go of their addiction. Is that no more a problem in Punjab today? Are people not dying of drug overdose anymore? Isn’t it your responsibility to speak up? Or was this role a mere promotional gimmick, just the way you allegedly used another tragedy to get photographed with a placard ?
And dear Anurag Kashyap,
We like the way you take on social issues in most of your movies. Who can forget your spirited fights with the Censor Board at the time of the release of Udta Punjab? We know how dedicated you were to the cause of Padmaavat’s smooth release, not even hesitating to take the bullies of Karni Sena head on! Is the drug problem a non issue all of a sudden? We are no strangers to your routine digs at the government for being ‘non secular’ and ‘intolerant’, so why don’t you talk about the drug menace in Punjab right now?
Two years after the release of this movie, the problem continues to exist more than ever today. Inspired by the act of Diljit Dosanjh in the movie, scores of students across Punjab protested because of the alleged inaction against the drug menace. They compelled the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to take strict actions, propose the death penalty for those caught peddling drugs, and announce that government officials would be tested.
Dear Udta Punjab team,
We have no personal grudge against you. You don’t need to go overboard with your efforts, just take some cue from our very own Diljit paaji. It is heartening to see that this artist continues to be concerned about the drug menace in Punjab, so much that his actions have inspired students to take the mantle forward and end the drug menace.
We only have a small request- don’t be partial in your approach, and don’t be silent now. It cannot always be about your publicity and your politics, it’s about the youth of the nation. Today, it’s Punjab that is affected. Tomorrow, it could be the entire nation. We hope you are listening. Thank you.
A Frustrated Indian
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