‘RSS, BJP had nothing to do with Nihalani’s appointment’

Debarati Palit Singh
Sunday, 13 August 2017

Pune/Mumbai: The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has been in the news since Pahlaj Nihalani took over as the chairperson of the board. But the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Friday announced that lyricist Prasoon Joshi will replace Nihalani as the new
chairperson.

A source close to the Censor Board told Sakal Times, “The Indu Sarkar controversy where the board sought 12 cuts and two disclaimers was the last straw. Nihalani had become a huge embarrassment for the ministry with so many controversies surrounding the board.

Pune/Mumbai: The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has been in the news since Pahlaj Nihalani took over as the chairperson of the board. But the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Friday announced that lyricist Prasoon Joshi will replace Nihalani as the new
chairperson.

A source close to the Censor Board told Sakal Times, “The Indu Sarkar controversy where the board sought 12 cuts and two disclaimers was the last straw. Nihalani had become a huge embarrassment for the ministry with so many controversies surrounding the board.

The government had decided a month ago about removing him. But it’s a government policy that they will not sack anyone but will let them finish their tenure.”

No connection
Nihalani during his tenure on several occasions had said that whatever decisions he was taking was on behalf of the BJP government and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

But the source, who is also close to RSS said, “In the first place, RSS or BJP had nothing to do with Nihalani’s appointment. It was actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha who had recommended his name.

“There are members from RSS who are part of the board and even they did not agree with his ideologies and methodology.”

Not flexible
The source, on the condition of anonymity, further added, “He had problems with the ministry officials because he wasn’t in the mood to listen to anyone. In fact, he got into a tiff with one of the ministers during a meeting. He was just blindly following the Cinematograph Act, 1952 which says that one cannot use a simple word like ‘kamina’ in films. But this act was made decades ago and should have been changed by now. He wasn’t being flexible which kind of created a lot of problems. In fact, for past one year, no one from the ministry has even met him,”
he said.

He further added, “Having said that, Nihalani has brought in positive changes too. He has been able to curb corruption within the board, got a new office and made the whole procedure online.”

The decision to appoint Prasoon Joshi and Vidya Balan among others is an attempt to prove that the government is not regressive but liberal. “Except for Nihalani, all present and past members have been very progressive and liberal,” added the source.

New members on board
- Actress Vidya Balan, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, actress Gautami Tadimala, Narendra Kohli, Naresh Chandra Lal, Neil Herbert Nongkynrih, Waman Kendre, T S Nagabharana, Ramesh Patengem, Vani Tripathi Tikoo, Jeevitha Rajasekhar and Mihir Bhuta have also been selected as members for the committee.
- National award winning actress Vidya Balan who has appointed as part of the reconstituted CBFC in a statement, said, “I am happy to join the CBFC and I hope to fulfill my responsibilities as a member to the best of my abilities. I look forward to this new and exciting phase where our cinema will be allowed to reflect the sensibilities, realities and complexities of the society we are living in today.”

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