Pahlaj Nihalani: “I Am  Happy To Make Way For Someone Else”

Pahlaj Nihalani is  no more the chairperson of Central Board Of Film Certification.

I find him in a surprisingly relaxed frame  of  mind a few hours after the news  of his ouster went viral.

Says the outgoing CBFC chairperson,  perhaps the most controversial  chairperson  ever, “I had been preparing myself for my exit for months now. Actually, from the time  I came in there have been elements working against me, some  of them from within the CBFC. These elements—I am not going to name them on-record—are currently celebrating premature Diwali.  Unnka toh tyohaar mere jaane se ho gaya(they are in a festive mood because of my ouster)”

Any regrets  about his departure?

“None at all. Believe me, I  was brought in as the CBFC chairperson all a sudden. I happily took up the  job that the Government thought me  fit for.  Now when the Government has  asked me to step down, I do so without any regret. It was a  big challenge while it lasted. When I came in there was rampant  corruption in the  CBFC. I got rid of all the middlemen and touts who made money  in the censor certification process. They  too must be celebrating Diwali in advance this year.” Pahlajji laughs loudly.

He refrains from commenting on Prasoon Joshi  being his incoming successor. “Whoever takes over from me  is  welcome to do. I only hope he doesn’t reverse the  work that I started at the CBFC. I feel we have achieved a lot in the past three years. We’ve speedened up the certification process and made it entirely digital. I just hope my successor doesn’t succumb to false notions of liberalism  propagated   by the pseudo-progressive elements in our film industry and work in a direction opposed to  mine.Do I have any regrets? None at all. I worked in all sincerity and with utmost honesty. In the process I offended a  lot of the so-called progressive elements. I also got labelled  a Sanskari censor chief. I am proud of that label. I hope I am remembered as the CBFC chairperson who took  a firm stand against vulgarity and pseudo-liberalism ,no matter  how unpopular it made me.”

What future plans?

“I am returning to my first love,  film production, in a big way. I will soon  be announcing a  slew of films.It’s been a highly satisfying tenure at the CBFC for me. But it’s also been exhausting and time-consuming.I am happy to make way for someone else.”


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