back to top

There Are Allegations That "Udta Punjab" Was Plagiarised From 2002 British Novel "High Society"

The similarities are pretty striking tbh.

Posted on

However, it seems that the praise may have been misguided, because allegations have surfaced claiming that the script may have been plagiarised from British author Ben Elton's 2002 novel High Society.

It's not just the titles that seem to match. High Society is a dark comedy that revolves around multiple characters and a politician's quest to legalise drugs in Britain. Udta Punjab, meanwhile, revolves around the drug trade in Punjab and also deals with a slew of characters.


High Society has a character named Jessie who runs away from home and is forced into drug use and prostitution in London. Alia Bhatt's character in Udta Punjab is also a runaway who gets drugged and is forced to become a sex slave.

And then there's the fact that High Society deals with a cop who wants to bring down the drug trade and the people involved. Just like, you guessed it, Diljit Dosanjh's character in Udta Punjab.

There are many other points of contention, including entire sequences that seemed to have been plagiarised from the novel.

Balaji Motion Pictures

These include striking similarities between the scenes where Kapoor and Bhatt's characters meet each other for the first time in the film, and where Tommy Hanson meets runaway Jessie in the book. Then there's the fact that Tommy Hanson gets a tattoo on his forehead that reads "twat", while Tommy Singh has the word "fuddu" written on his scalp.

The endings of both the novel and the film are also amazingly similar. Both Jessie and Alia Bhatt's characters find solace on a beach, after having previously mentioned their desire to visit one earlier in their story arcs.

Udta Punjab scriptwriter Sudip Sharma has denied the allegations, although he has admitted to having read High Society. You can find the entire breakdown of all the similarities between the novel and the film on