Padmavati gets Pahlaj Nihalani’s support: Sanjay Leela Bhansali always promotes Indian culture

Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Padmavati appears to have support of CBFC chiefs -- both past and present. Here’s what Prasoon Joshi and Pahlaj Nihalani said about Deepika Padukone film.

bollywood Updated: Nov 11, 2017 11:49 IST
Padmavati,Sanjay Leela Bhansali,Pahlaj Nihalani
Deepika Padukone-starrer Padmavati is facing a ban call.

Even as Padmavati faces attack from various quarters, its seems Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chiefs – both past and present – are united in giving the film its due. After CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi said on Friday that the board has respect for Sanjay Leela Bhansali as an “individual and artist”, now the former incumbent Pahlaj Nihalani has termed the filmmaker a “sensible person”.

Speaking to ANI about the ongoing controversy surrounding Padmavati, Nihalani said, “Bhansali is a sensible and best technician in the industry. He knows that he is bringing Indian culture in front of the world. He has always promoted Indian culture and people have liked it”.

The film director pointed out that every Bhansali productions film faces controversy even though there is nothing objectionable in it. “There has been controversy in each of his films. Controversy on his projects is created by people. His movies have always done a good business after people see there is nothing wrong with it,” he said.

Former CBFC chief Pahalaj Nihalani said not only Padmavati, all Sanjay Leela Bhansali films face protests.

“People of every state for which he makes a film protest against it. People protested against Bajirao Mastani in Maharashtra. There were many court cases. I think how he highlighted Maratha in that film was commendable,” he noted.

Nihalani also highlighted that there was a film made on Padmavati in 1963 but there were no protests. “Why did people not protest earlier when movies were made on Padmavati? Were the Rajputs not this concerned?” he asked, adding, “These protests must stop”.

Nihalani, who was popular for making several cuts in movies as the CBFC chief, said that approving the film is the responsibility of the censor board, not public or government. “Till the time film is not censored, it is not completed. I think they have not yet submitted it for approval, the process which takes at least 21 days. If the film gets censor certificate, it must be right-minded,” he said.

“Members of censor board are capable and educated. They know which film should be passed and which should not. It is the responsibility of the censor board nor the government or public should take it,” Nihalani stressed.

The period drama starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, and Shahid Kapoor has been facing protests from various communal groups, including Shree Rajput Karni Sena, for allegedly tampering with historical facts.

The Karni Sena, which demolished the sets of the movie in Jaipur and also thrashed Bhansali early this year, again warned the director that he would face consequences if Padmavati distorted historical facts.

In fact, Joshi’s remarks came after Arjun Gupta, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and member of CBFC,on Thursday came out strongly against Bhansali and said that an action should be taken for him to stop making ‘such movies’. “It’s unfortunate to see the personal point of view expressed by an advisory panel member of the CBFC against Mr Sanjay Leela Bhansali. By no means does it represent the point of view of CBFC as an organisation or the CBFC board. We have respect for Mr Bhansali as an individual and artist,” Joshi told ANI on Friday.

The movie is slated to hit the theatres on December 1.

First Published: Nov 11, 2017 10:32 IST