‘Udta Punjab’ faces plagiarism allegation

Shahid Kapoor starrer ‘Udta Punjab’, which released in June after a long-drawn legal battle against the censor board, has landed itself in a fresh controversy. A recent media report has pointed out that the movie was inspired from ‘High Society’, a 2002 novel by Ben Elton.        

The report stated that the characters, concepts and issues in ‘Udta Punjab’ are similar to those in the book.  Another article in a website nailed it further by detailing the striking similarities between certain characters, situations, plot points and devices used in the novel and consequently in the film as well.

The allegation of being ‘inspired’ from the novel, has come as a shock for the makers and well as the viewers. Producer Anurag Kashyap of Phantom Films told The Hindu, “I don’t have anything to say. I am completely shocked by the same, haven’t read the book.”

He clarified that there is no question of plagiarism because his team had done a lot of research in Punjab, and the film has been made on the on the basis of their research.

“I know for a fact that my director and writer went and spent a lot of time in Punjab researching the film, and have seen the research. If they were in any way inspired by the book, which only they know, they have done a damn good job in the writing of the script. Because the film that I read and I saw, seemed very very rooted in the land,” Anurag said.

The film’s writer Sudip Sharma admitting to having read the book, but said he hardly remembers much of it. He rather mentioned that he took inspirations from Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic and an article in Tehelka.

Directed by Abhishek Chaubey, ‘Udta Punjab’ is based on the widespread drug abuse in the state of Punjab. The movie also features Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor and Diljit Dosanjh.