Already under fire for a list of words to be banned from films that was recently issued by the Central Board of Film Certification, the board’s new chief, Pahlaj Nihalani, is in the news again. In a recent interview to a TV channel, he targeted one of the former chairpersons, Sharmila Tagore, under whose leadership, several films that had expletives in their dialogues were passed. He cited the example of Omkara (2006), hinting that it was cleared because it starred her son, Saif Ali Khan.
“Omkara was her son Saif Ali Khan’s film. The board cleared it after being pressurised by her, which set the trend and release of films like Gangs of Wasseypur happened,” Nihalani was quoted as saying.
Now, Saif has come out in support of his mother. “She is a liberal, extremely intelligent and experienced chairperson. We should always have a censor chief like her, but too often, we will have someone less passionate about cinema and more political-minded,” says the actor, adding, “Having said that, I love Pahlaj ji. He is liberal, and is a great lover of cinema too. He’s entitled to his opinion. But, I cannot imagine my mother bending rules for her children; she is too fair.”