Looks like Udta Punjab and controversies go hand in hand. Abhishek Chaubey’s widely acclaimed film that ran into serious trouble with the censor board before its release has now found itself in the midst of a plagiarism row.

According to a report in The Times of India, there are a number of similarities between Ben Elton’s novel High Society (2002) and Udta Punjab that definitely cannot be regarded as a coincidence. One may notice that even the titles seem to bear an uncanny resemblance, apart from the plot and its central characters.


Now let’s get to the details. The plot of High Society revolves around the British drug scenario and one of the central characters in the film is a drug addict rockstar named Tommy Hanson. Well, does it ring a bell? Of course, that’s also the name of Shahid Kapoor’s character in the film – also a drug addict rockstar.


Tommy, from High Society, meets 17 year old Jessie, who goes missing from her home and lands up in London, where she is exploitated and forced into prostitution. Are we the only ones who feel it’s a dead ringer for Alia Bhatt’s character?


Another character, a police officer, is on a mission to expose the British drug scene and of course, it’s a reminder of Diljit Dosanjh’s character from the film. Too many similarities, isn’t it?


We’ve just scratched the surface, but Scroll.in went a step further and published an in-depth analysis, highlighting portions from the book that have been recreated as scenes in the film. You can read their analysis here.

In an interview with the website, writer Sudeep Sharma has denied the plagiarism allegations and also mentions this his film was inspired by Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic. He also maintains that the film is partially based on an article that was published in Tehelka, the magazine, about the drug epidemic in Punjab.

Coincidence, inspiration or downright plagiarism – our guess is as good as yours. What we do know is that fans of the movie are definitely disappointed by the news.