Prakash Jha rumoured to replace Pahlaj Nihalani as Censor Board chairman
Filmmaker Prakasha Jha’s latest film, Lipstick Under My Burka, locked horns with CBFC for months, as Nihalani refused to certify the film calling it lady oriented.bollywood Updated: Jul 26, 2017 16:17 IST
Amid speculation that Pahlaj Nihalani might be asked to quit the Chairmanship of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), names of probable successors being bounced around include that of filmmaker Prakash Jha, followed by Madhur Bhandarkar, and TV producer and actor Chandraprakash Dwivedi.
However, talking to us, Jha says, “I have no idea about this. I have only read it in the newspapers. I cannot talk about this.” Call it a coincidence or irony — that Jha’s latest production, Lipstick under My Burkha, locked horns with CBFC for months, as Nihalani refused to certify the film calling it ‘lady oriented.’ After a six-month battle, the film was released on July 21.
Why do we need these shackles? There is no need of censor board.
Talking about the issue of censorship, Jha had said in an earlier interview, “Why do we need these shackles? There is no need of censor board. You can specify what the content is and the certification but there is no need of censoring.”
Bhandarkar, too, dismisses these reports saying, “I’ve absolutely no clue about it, as I’m busy with my movie (Indu SArkar) promotions, so can’t comment anything.”
I’m not sure if I’d want to take the post because it would be conflict of interest.
If given a chance, would he consider taking the job? Bhandarkar adds, “I don’t think so. I’m an active filmmaker, making films almost every year and I’m busy with scripting my other films. [Also] I’m not sure if I’d want to take the post because it would be conflict of interest too.”
Furthermore, it’s being said that ever since actor-turned-politician Smriti Irani became the Information & Broadcasting (I&B) minister, there have been talks that Nihalani might be replaced. Technically, his three-year tenure ends in January 2018.
On Tuesday, an interview did the rounds where Nihalani was quoted as saying, “So far I have not heard of any such plans from the government. I am sure my well-wishers are holding their breath... If now I am asked to leave, I’d do so just as swiftly, wishing my successor all the best.”
Strangely, Nihalani took to twitter on Tuesday night and blatantly denied giving any such quote. “A new low in Journalism. I haven’t given this quote. It’s absolutely unethical & ridiculous!” he wrote.
These are the only quotes that I provided to Mr. Subhash K Jha. I haven't spoken to any other TV or Print media regarding my dismissal news. pic.twitter.com/QJWmiyobWC— Pahlaj Nihalani (@NihalaniPahlaj) July 26, 2017
The tweet got him more flak. Twitterati slammed him with comments such as, ‘Sir you’re doing more damage to the industry than good. It’s advisable that you step down’, ‘You are an all time low person for cinema. Stop trying to lower the quality of cinema’.
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First Published: Jul 26, 2017 16:17 IST