Udta Punjab Controversy: Another Example Of Streisand Effect

This post will be a break from the usual and just examine at how the Indian Censor Board has brought even more attention to an offbeat film [by Bollywood standards], one that addresses the drug menace in a local province called Punjab.

After the Indian censor board suggested 89 cuts in the movie, including removing reference to the province name, it's kinda clear that politics plays a bigger part there - especially when elections are coming up in the same province.

What the censor board didn't expect what the movie industry to virtually unite behind the movie - calling the cuts archaic and completely opposing freedom of expression via cinematic means.

Here's how it looks on Google Trends:

16th Apr: Movie trailer got released and it generated some interest [I'd watch this movie!].

28th May: The first round of movie screening process was completed a week ago and the makers deny claims that the movie will be banned due to the topic.

9th June: Creativity is killed as the censor board actually suggested 89 cuts in a movie [making it kinda pointless to even release it]. This actually opened up a can of worms with celebrities, newspapers going after the rather ludicrous idea of incorporating these cuts.

The interest line between 16th Apr and 28th May shows that interest in the movie was reasonably picking up with nothing particularly shocking about the content. Once rumours started flying about a possible ban [around 28th May], everyone's head turned to this movie to know what's it all about.

Related searches in Google Trends already suggests that the soundtrack is already getting picked up among popular searches.


On Twitter, the #udtapunjab has taken all forms with the movie characters getting featured, the main actors, censor board and of course, social commentary behind the reality of situation and how critical is it.

Right above, you can see the same data for the #udtapunjab really growing in the last one week.

If/when the movie gets released, it's now bound to a success, thanks to some innovative ideas from the censor board. The matter went to Bombay High Court and it seems, the same censor board has now approved the movie with an Adult rating [sure...] and 13 cuts. 

Here's some of the most popular RT's coming from celebrities in favour of the movie.


As of now, the trailer has been watch 12 M times on YouTube already. 73 K likes / 5.9 K dislikes and 6.5 K comments. Just scrolling through comments shows people hating on the censor board and the ruling political party in the province among other issues.

Have a look. Anything worth censoring in the first place...? :)