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Pahlaj Nihalani calls CBFC a confused organization

The former chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Pahlaj Nihalani, who was recently replaced by lyricist and screenwriter Prasoon Joshi, said that CBFC is a confused organization.

Edited by: India TV Entertainment Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: August 15, 2017 12:44 IST ]
The former CBFC director Pahlaj Nihalani

During his tenure, which was cut short last week, Nihalani had told the makers of Jab Harry Met Sejal to remove the word 'intercourse' from one of the mini trails of the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer. He then allowed the usage of the same word in Bengali film Dhanonjoy.

He now said, "I had no problem with the word. ‘Intercourse' has been allowed in the new Bengali film 'Dhanonjoy'. No, I am not a prude. But I am pragmatic. I know Shah Rukh Khan's fans are children. And parents wouldn't have liked him talking about intercourse in Jab Harry Met Sejal.

"Let me make one thing clear. The CBFC guidelines do not stipulate that films should not be cut. Yet I was pressurized from the top to not cut, only certify. The CBFC is a confused organization. We need progressive guidelines. Without them, we are stuck in a time-warp," he said.

Nihalani has been replaced as CBFC chairperson by writer-adman Prasoon Joshi. Nihalani says he was surprised to read that the same filmmakers whose films he had cleared on priority were rejoicing his ouster.

"I can understand Anurag Kashyap feeling happy about my departure from the CBFC. He has been openly campaigning against my tenure as the CBFC chairperson. There is no hidden agenda in his malice. It's all out in the open,’’ he said.

He further said, "I believe he has been singing songs after my exit from the CBFC. Glad to bring happiness in his life. But some of the others ‘welcoming the change' have been telling me on my face that they had no problem with me at the CBFC. And now they say they're happy to see me go?"

Without taking any names, Nihalani mentioned a recent film in which he had gone out of his way to accommodate the toilet humour. "There were derogatory references to caste and community which I couldn't allow. The next thing I heard is that the film's hero had complained to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry about my high-handedness. God bless him and all the others who are celebrating my departure," he stated.

Nihalani's stint as the chief of the film censor board was full of controversies over cuts, beeps and disclaimers being demanded in movies.

(With IANS Inputs)

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