After almost 2 month period, the administration, on August 11, has made the mind to fire Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) head Pahlaj Nihalani from his post. Well known lyricist-writer Prasoon Joshi has been named as the novel CBFC head.
Pahlaj’s term as CBFC head was stained by a number of controversies. The final straw was a chain of charges in opposition to Pahlaj by his fellow workers in the panel. Since the month of July, there were reports that the administration was proposing to reinstate the CBFC head and his co-workers.
The objections in opposition to Nihalani were rising as the movie club univocally damned the panel. This was repeated by film producers and creators additionally.
Over the past few months, Pahlaj was named as ‘sanskari’ head, particularly after taking out a steamy scene from the Hollywood movie Spectre as it was “too unnecessary”.
And the self-righteous approach of Pahlaj Nihalani was always translated as a thrust from the BJP-heded administration and its nationalist-saffron schedule. Earlier 2017, he had given disaaproval to confirm the movie Lipstick Under My Burka for being excessively “lady-oriented”. The protest was in opposition to “sexual prospects, rude words, acoustic pornography (phone sex)” and stated that the movie might upset Muslims.
The board had major awkwardness after the Appellate Tribunal instructed the panel to offer an ‘A’ certificate. In recent times, Nihalani had objected to make use of the phrase ‘intercourse’ in the King Khan starrer Jab Harry Met Sejal. In the year 2016, Nihalani came under harsh disapproval when he questioned the producers of Udta Punjab to devolve the mention of Punjab from the movie’s title. He asked for no less than 89 cuts, comprising cuss words.
The centre faced brickbats when Nihalani demanded the elimination of words such as ‘Gujarat’ and ‘cow’ from Nobel Prize champion Amartya Sen’s docudrama, The Argumentative Indian. The movie business had been continually complaining of Pahlaj’s conservatism and ‘grandfatherly’ approach when it came to on-screen boozing and smoking scenes, in spite of constitutional cautions.
While talking about the restructured CBFC, film producer Shyam Benegal stated, “I won’t comment on the sacking of Pahlaj Nihalani but Prasoon Joshi is a very good choice. He is a creative person and a poet. He understands communication and media extremely well. Prasoon is an artiste, he knows artistic creation and will respond to works of arts of others with sensitivity.”