Pahlaj Nihalani has been sacked from his position of Censor Board chief. Popular writer and lyricist, Prasoos Joshi has reportedly replaced Nihalani. Of course, in his around three years of tenure, he took many decisions which led to controversies in the Indian film industry. Mr Nihalani has received a lot of criticism for using the censor scissors way too often and without any justifiable reason. Because of his propensity for unreasonable cuts, he gets into frequent confrontations with filmmakers. The most unreasonable of these reasons were perhaps not allowing characters in the film to smoke and drink because in Nihalani’s world actors have the added job of being role models to the country’s youngsters.
Throughout his tenure as CBFC chief, Pahlaj Nihalani has made it to the news due to all the wrong reasons. Here’s looking at some of these incidents:
Pahlaj Nihalani reduced the length of a kissing scene in James Bond flick Spectre. This notorious act got him the name of ‘sanskaari’ Censor Board.
Udta Punjab controversy:
Anyone who has been following Bollywood news would know the kind of controversy Udta Punjab created before release. The Censor Board had suggested 89 cuts in the Shahid Kapoor starrer and said the excessive swearing and drug abuse shown in it was problematic. The makers approached the Bombay High Court and got support from many Bollywood celebs. The movie was later released after few cuts but its leak just days before it hit screens took a toll on the Box Office collection.
Mutes Hanuman Chalisa from Phillauri:
This year, Pahlaj Nihalani muted Hanuman Chalisa from Anushka Sharma’s production Phillauri claiming it would hurt religious sentiments of many.
Lipstick Under My Burkha and the controversial release:
Calling the film ‘lady-oriented’, Pahlaj Nihalani and the board had refused to release it. He had also equaled some scenes in the film with porn, following which the makers had moved the Tribunal. The film was released on July 21. The makers won eventually once again exposing the juvenile judgment of the government.
Indu Sarkar cuts:
The CBFC had demanded 14 cuts in this Madhur Bhandarkar film, after which the makers approached the revising committee. The movie is set in the backdrop of emergency but the committee differed from CBFC and cleared the movie.
‘Intercourse’ in Jab Harry Met Sejal:
Just when one thought, CBFC could not have surprised anyone, Pahlaj Nihalani opposed to the word ‘intercourse’ in Jab Harry Met Sejal. As always, it started a storm, leaving everyone bewildered over this demand. CBFC became the butt of jokes again but Nihalani maintained he isn’t affected by it. He said he would clear the word if he got 1 lakh votes, but when people responded to his demand on social media, Nihalani changed the rules.
No smoking and drinking:
Adding to its weird demands, Pahlaj Nihalani said, “Merely putting a ticker warning at some remote corner of the screen whenever there is smoking or drinking shown, is not enough anymore. We feel the superstars who are followed by millions and who set an example in societal behaviour must not be shown drinking or smoking on screen unless the provocation for doing so is really strong.” Well, this is obviously something which neither the makers nor viewers would approve of!
Do we have any other option?
For interesting entertainment and lifestyle videos from InUth, follow us on Youtube.com/InUthdotcom