The outgoing chairperson of the censor board Pahlaj Nihalani says he is surprised to read the same filmmakers whose films he had cleared on priority , rejoicing his ouster.
“I can understand Anurag Kashyap feeling happy about my departure from the CBFC. He has been openly campaigning against my tenure as the CBFC chairperson . There is no hidden agenda in his malice. It’s all out in the open.I believe he has been singing songs after my exit from the CBFC. Glad to bring happiness in his life. But some of the others ‘welcoming the change’ have been telling me on my face that they had no problem with me at the CBFC. And now they say they’re happy to see me go? Wah kya baat hai.”
Without taking any names , Mr Nihalani mentions a recent film in which he had gone out of his way to accommodate the toilet humour. “There were derogatory references to caste and community which I couldn’t allow . The next thing I heard is that the film’s hero had complained to the I & M ministry about my high-handedness. God bless him and all the others who are celebrating my departure.”
The worst jibe post-ouster was on Arnab Goswami’s show where the abrasive anchor openly ridiculed Mr Nihalani.
“I think I replied sufficiently to his taunts. Arnab kept insisting I should say the word ‘intercourse’ out load. Why should I do what he or anyone else asks me to do? By saying ‘intercourse’ loudly one becomes a liberal? And for Arnab’s information, I had no problem with the word. ‘Intercourse’ has been allowed in the new Bengali film Dhanonjoy.No, I am not a prude. But I am pragmatic.I know Shah Rukh Khan’s fans are children ,And parents wouldn’t have liked him talking about intercourse in Jab Harry Met Sejal. Let me make one thing clear. The CBFC guidelines do not stipulate that films should not be cut. Yet I was was pressurized from the top to not cut , only certify. The CBFC is a confused organization . We need progressive guidelines. Without them we are stuck in a time-warp.”