Abhishek Chaubey‘s last directorial Udta Punjab was praised by many, but it now seems that the film plot was ‘inspired’ by a book published in 2002.
A recent media report had pointed out High Society, a 2002 novel by Ben Elton might be a possible inspiration for the film as the book too has characters similar to those in Udta Punjab. The characters in ‘High Society’ comprise Tommy Hanson, a successful musical artist who abuses drugs, Jessie, a Scottish teenager, who runs away from home to come to London, gets addicted to drugs and is trapped in a sex racket and Commander Barry Leman, a high ranking police officer who becomes obsessed with a personal quest for justice. Needless to say, these characters reminded us of Tommy Singh (Shahid Kapoor), Alia Bhatt‘s character and Sartaj Singh (Diljit Dosanjh) from Udta Punjab.
The film’s writer Sudip Sharma, while admitting to having read the book, said he couldn’t remember much of it and pointed out Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic and an article in Tehelka as his inspirations, while producer Anurag Kashyap claimed to have been shocked by the allegations of plagiarism.