CBFC says Pahlaj Nihalani’s Rangeela Raja hero is a misogynist, commits rape, adultery

Published on Nov 22, 2018 09:53 AM IST
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has justified its decision to demand 20 cuts in former chairman Pahlaj Nihalani’s film, Rangeela Raja.
Director Pahlaj Nihalani with actor Govinda at a press conference regarding their upcoming film Rangeela Raja in Mumbai.(IANS)
Director Pahlaj Nihalani with actor Govinda at a press conference regarding their upcoming film Rangeela Raja in Mumbai.(IANS)
Hindustan Times | By

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) justified its decision to demand 20 cuts in the film Rangeela Raja, written and produced by former chairman Pahlaj Nihalani, in court on Wednesday.

“In a social milieu where we are taking strong actions on objectification of women, crimes against women, the examining committee of the CBFC has very responsibly suggested the aforesaid excisions or modifications in the film in public interest,” stated an affidavit filed by board in Bombay high court (HC).

Nihalani was not available for comment. Nihalani is best known for brutally censoring films – usually on grounds of obscenity and vulgarity – during his tenure as CBFC chief between 2015 and 2017.

On Wednesday, the CBFC filed an affidavit in HC, stating the board had taken strong objection to how Rangeela Raja glorifies violence and objectified women through the actions of its hero, “who is shown as having no repentance of his actions and crimes, including rape, adultery and treating women as a commodity for his sensual pleasures.”

Aside from glorifying the hero molesting young women, Rangeela Raja contains numerous scenes in which male characters discuss women in obscene terms, said the CBFC.

Among the recommended cuts are dialogues like one in which a woman is referred to as “kadak ghevar” (a bold woman) and another in which the hero, after a raping a woman, refers to the rape as “swadishth khana” (delicious food).

The board also said that the film’s plot effectively praised the hero’s misogyny. Although the climax of the film shows the hero being punished, he goes back to lying to his family and harassing women.

Director Pahlaj Nihalani at a press conference regarding their upcoming film Rangeela Raja in Mumbai. (IANS)
Director Pahlaj Nihalani at a press conference regarding their upcoming film Rangeela Raja in Mumbai. (IANS)

This return to ‘form’ leads to the comment, “Yeh Raja rangeela tha, rangeela hai, aur rangeela hi rahega (this Raja was randy, is randy and will remain randy).”

“In its entirety, a wrong example is portrayed to children through the film,” said the affidavit, submitted in court by advocate Advait Sethna on behalf of the CBFC.

Earlier this month, the CBFC had ordered 20 cuts in Rangeela Raja, which stars Govinda and Shakti Kapoor.

Nihalani moved the HC, stating he had not been given an opportunity to justify the objectionable scenes.

Acting on his petition, a bench of justices BP Dharmadhikari and Sarang Kotwal on Wednesday directed the CBFC to co-operate with the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal in expeditiously adjudicating Nihalani’s appeal against the cuts.

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