Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani has said filmmaker Karan Johar can come to the censor board with Ok Jaanu -- his production on a live-in relationship -- without worrying.
Clarifying his stance on a perception being projected within the film industry that the CBFC has a soft corner for Aditya Chopra’s Yash Raj Films, which has produced Befikre, and not such a soft corner for Karan’s banner, he said: “You mean because we cut the kisses in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and not in Befikre?”
“Firstly, let me make it very clear that there was no kiss between Ranbir Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to cut in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Yes, we did cut the kiss between Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma because we felt that the kiss was unduly prolonged.”
“Secondly, when his film was in trouble over the presence of a Pakistani artiste, I was one of Karan’s most vocal supporters. Karan is the son of my old friend, the wonderful Yash Johar who was one of the most upright and kind souls in this film industry. Karan is like my own son.”
“Let him come to the censors with Ok Jaanu, ekdum befikre. We’ll do whatever is the right thing to do.”
The makers of the forthcoming Ok Jaanu, co-produced by Karan’s Dharma Productions, are said to be now looking at a more liberal approach to their film. But Nihalani is not biting the bait.
“The film that you mention has not come to us as yet. And we are certainly not going to certify it keeping ‘Befikre’ in mind as a yardstick. Nothing like, ‘Agar uske paas 20 kisses hain toh mere paas 10 (‘If they have 20 kisses, we have 10’.) Every film will be certified on its individual merit,” he said.
Watch the song Labon Ka Karobar from Befikre
Netizens have spoken out about “double standards” being displayed by the censorship board and have raised questions on how and why the kisses in Spectre, Tamasha and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil were curtailed/deleted when now Befikre gets away with lots of kissing. Gossip mills have it that money has exchanged hands.
Reacting to the rumours, Nihalani said, “So, I am corrupt if I don’t cut the kisses. I am corrupt and ‘sanskaari’ if I cut the kisses. I might as well go with the first option.”
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