What message does Ex-CBFC Chief Pahlaj Nihalani Have For Prasoon Joshi?

Pierre Vaugeois
Août 13, 2017

The Censor Board of India has been remade with writer Prasoon Joshi as the new chairman. However, you would not be knowing about Nihalani's take on the entire shuffle.

Calling himself a "sanskari" Censor board chief, Nihalani evoked controversy with his decision to effect "unwarranted" cuts in many a film, from "Angry Indian Godesses" to "Udta Punjab" to the James Bond film "Spectre" to the recently released "Lipstick Under My Burkha" to "Babumoshai Bandookbaaz".

"I am happy that the film industry has expectations from me". Nihalani also hinted at a conspiracy done against him from inside the board which has resulted in his ousting.

I have respect for the industry. I will soon be announcing a slew of films.

I don't have any idea about the CBFC functioning and my role as its chief. But it's also been exhausting and time-consuming.

'Congratulations prasoonjoshi_ bahut ummeedein hain aapse (We have a lot of expectations from you),'the filmmaker said.

Nihalani will be going back to producing films.

I had been preparing myself for my exit for months now. These elements-I am not going to name them on-record - are now celebrating premature Diwali. These elements - I am not going to name them on-record - are now celebrating premature Diwali. Unka toh tyohaar mere jaane se ho gaya (they are in a festive mood because of my removal). "I am still waiting to know when I am supposed to take over", he admits.

People from the film industry have often said the job of the CBFC is to certify films and not censor it. I feel we have achieved a lot in the past three years.

Nihalani hopes his successor doesn't fall trap to what he calls "pseudo-progressive elements" in the film industry: "I just hope my successor doesn't succumb to false notions of liberalism propagated by the pseudo-progressive elements in our film industry and work in a direction opposed to mine".

Do I have any regrets? I know what the work is in short, but I need to understand what the processes are. In the process, I offended a lot of the so-called progressive elements. I also got labelled a sanskaari censor chief. In a statement given to the media, Vidya Balan mentioned that she is elated to join the cadre of CBFC as a sensor board member and is ready to take the full responsibility.

I was brought in as the CBFC chairperson all a sudden. "I have never shied from taking responsibilities till date", he states. It was a big challenge while it lasted. They too must be celebrating Diwali in advance this year.

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