Pahlaj Nihalani now defends Jolly LLB 2. Has he gone from villain to hero?

After suggesting 89 cuts to Udta Punjab last year, Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani does a U-turn on his words, speaks up against Bombay HC verdict on Jolly LLB 2

bollywood Updated: Feb 27, 2017 07:20 IST
Pahlaj Nihalani,Jolly LLB 2,Udta Punjab
Pahlaj Nihalani has slammed the Bombay HC verdict on Jolly LLB 2

Last year, it was because of the highly controversial Udta Punjab. Now, it’s for a film that had seemed fairly sterile—that is, until earlier this week.

Thanks to Jolly LLB 2, the Censor Board chairman Pahlaj Nihalani and the Bombay High Court are at it once again. This time though, Nihalani seems to be playing the part of the hero, instead of the villain that he usually is to Bollywood.

“If we judge films according to our individual sensitivities, there will be no cinema left,” Nihalani said on Tuesday, while speaking against the allegations that certain scenes in the Subhash Kapoor directed Jolly LLB 2 are “defamatory to the lawyers’ profession and would be contempt of court”.

“See, at the end of the day, it’s just a film, not a documentary,” Nihalani asserted. “Kuch toh banaawati hoga (there will be some amount of fictionalisation). We cannot be over-sensitive about every comment or situation in a film.”

Quite a turn of words and ideologies from the man, wouldn’t you say? Considering he had suggested 89 cuts to Udta Punjab because it apparently “defames the fair name of Punjab”.

Nihalani may finally be a changed man, courtesy the extreme criticism he and his office has attracted from all quarters. But should Bollywood be celebrating already? We suggest you hold your horses. Because, what comes across as good sense prevailing may actually be a case of the war of the egos between the Censor Board chief and the Bombay HC.

Last year, with respect to the Udta Punjab fiasco, the Bombay HC had stated that the Censor Board has no right to interfere on how filmmakers show or highlight an issue. Now it’s Nihalani’s turn to take a dig at the HC as he expressed his concerns about the “value of certification”.

“If certificate is given to a film, it should not be challengeable. After the clearance given to a film, if such things happen, then what is the value of certification? (sic),” he told Mumbai Mirror.

According to an article in, he also said that the Censor Board wouldn’t have cleared the movie if it felt that the filmmakers’ intention was to disrespect anybody. “We are a responsible body and know how to do our job.”

Well, for now, Jolly LLB 2 has been cleared by the HC for its scheduled release this weekend, albeit with four cuts.

Guess, we just have to wait for the next such row to surface to see if the Bombay HC and Nihalani can finally be on the same side—and hopefully, on the same side as good cinema.

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First Published: Feb 08, 2017 16:45 IST