After a series of controversies during his tenure as the chairman of the censor board, Pahlaj Nihalani is finally sacked from the organization and replaced by ace lyricist and adman Prasoon Joshi. In the recent reshuffle at the board, popular Bollywood actress Vidya Balan also booked a place in the administrative team of the censor board. Nihalani, in many instances had been criticised and accused of treating the Central Board of Film Certificate (CBFC) as his personal territory and had demanded for several cuts and moral policing.
And while Nilhani had been the point of criticism in the board for several irrational demands, his recent scandals include the demand of multiple cuts in Madhur Bhandarkar’s latest movie on the Emergency, “Indu Sarkar”. Further, the former CBFC chairman had faced massive criticism for not certifying “Lipstick Under My Burkha”, a movie which depicts issues related to women sexuality. Amid grave controversies, the movie has been described as “lady oriented” and faced complaints of featuring sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography (phone sex). The CBFC under NIhalai also stated that the movie might offend the Muslims as well. However, Alankrita Shrivastava, the director of the movie, won the case after challenging the CBFC at an appeals tribunal.
Appointed as the top authority of the censor’s board in January 2015, Nihalani had been in frequent controversies in his entire tenure. Recently, the ‘sanskari’ chairman had objected to the use of the word intercourse in Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma starrer “Jab Harry met Sejal”. He had also been a target of several criticism for his objections to words like “cow”, “Hindu India” in a documentary on Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen.
Reportedly, Nihalani had been informed last month by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, that he could be replaced by Prasoon Joshi. A Padma Sri awardee of 2015, Joshi is one of the most respected and popular lyricist and scriptwriter of the B-town. He had won National awards twice for best lyrics for ‘Maa’ in Tare Zameen Par (2008) and ‘Bolo Na’ in ‘Chittagong’ (2013). Prasoon Joshi had also written lyrics for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign and in other noted movies like Rang De Basanti and ‘Neerja’.
By: Priyam Mukhopadhyay