It’s such a joy to hear Pahlaj Nihalani confidently argue with erroneous facts. According to a report in The Print, Nihalani has filed a petition with the Bombay HC challenging the cuts suggested by the current CBFC committee, for his forthcoming film, Rangeela Raja. Some might even say how much of a pleasure it is to see Nihalani on the other side of the Censor battle, especially after he terrorised multiple director/producer/actors during his tenure of nearly two years as CBFC chief.
Nihalani’s Rangeela Raja stars Govinda in a double role, and if the tacky trailer was any suggestion for the titillation that the film offers, no one’s really surprised at the suggested 20 cuts in the film. Pahlaj Nihalani argued against the cuts saying that a company called ‘Netflex’ ran a website called ‘Secret Game’ that is ‘in nature of blue films’.
Is #NihalaniSoMisinformed a hashtag, yet? He’s obviously referring to the streaming platform *Netflix, that has a show called *Sacred Games, that showcases partial frontal nudity. But while there’s plenty of context to the nudity and the verbal cussing on the web series, it surely doesn’t explain why Govinda is surrounded by ‘unusually’ dressed women in the trailer of Nihalani’s film.
Pahlaj Nihalani also had some words for his successor, Prasoon Joshi. The petition reads, “…does not hold sufficient experience in respect of the film certification and the norms in respect thereof, however, despite the same, politically, he came to be appointed as a Chairman of the Respondent No.2 (Prasoon Joshi).” This is quite similar to what many alleged about Nihalani, when he was appointed as the CBFC chairman.
Looks like he fell out of favour with the administration, who he also attacked in the petition, saying, “It is an unhidden fact that presently, the Government is running by the political party known as BJP. The agenda of the said party is about construction of the temple at Ayodhya i.e. of the Lord RAM.”
Wow, Nihalani’s broken up with sanskaars?
Pahlaj Nihalani ran into several memorable censor battles, during his tenure between Jan 19, 2015 to August 11, 2017, where he prescribed 89 cuts to Udta Punjab, at one point. However, his shining moment in office as CBFC chairman, came inside a lift. Having been cornered by a TV journalist after having asked for a poll on whether the word ‘intercourse’ should be allowed in Jab Harry Met Sejal, Nihalani just blankly stared and pretended to ignore the persistent questions of the reporter, who claimed to have gotten the requisite amount of votes on this sanskaar poll.
Life seems to have come full circle for Mr Nihalani, the oppressor is now calling himself the oppressed. It remains to be seen as to how many cuts are finally implemented in Rangeela Raja, but the crassness doesn’t seem to be a ‘formula’ that will revive either Govinda’s career, or even Pahlaj Nihalani’s.