Smriti Irani Got Vindictive And Sacked Me: Pahlaj Nihalani

Pahlaj Nihalani’s Explosive Revelation: “Smriti Irani Got Vindictive And Sacked Me When I Refused To Certify Indu Sarkar”

Former CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihlani is far from done with his tenure. In what could be considered his most explosive  interview to date, Nihalani reveals  to this writer that the newly-appointed I & B Minister Smriti Iranisacked him  after he refused comply with  her wishes.

“She got vindictive because I refused to  certify Indu Sarkar. She wanted me to certify Madhur Bhandarkar’s  Indu Sarkar without cuts after the Examining Committee of the CBFC  thought it right to ask for several cuts because the film  attacked individual politicians and  political parties. Rather than take the film to the

​Revising​

 Committee or the Tribunal Bhandarkar took it to Smritiji who ordered me to pass  the film without any cuts,” reveals  Nihalani.

He  says he refused to comply.  “I couldn’t do what she asked.  Because she was basically asking me to make  a mockery of  the CBFC. I refused to do the needful.If I had let the film go with no cuts it would have been a violation of  the CBFC’s guidelines.  The  next thing I know I was given marching orders.”

Nihalani claims he  was punished for  doing his  job. “All these allegations and charges against me are nothing but vicious attempts to pull me down when I am not in power at at the CBFC. It is being said that I refused to certify the Malayalam film Ka Bodyscapes. But it wasn’t my decision . 25 out of 29 censorboard members voted against the film being certified.”

Nihalani says nothing his detractors say or do will make him change his  mind. “I stand by every decision that I  made during my tenure as the chairperson  of  the  CBFC.  My decisions may  have been unpopular. But they were not wrong. If I was given another chance to consider a censor certification  for Ka Bodyscapes I would still refuse. The film shows Lord Hanuman as  gay. You tell me, who will guarantee the safety of common people if and when  riots break out on the streets for showing a beloved God as gay? It’s all very fine to be  liberal. But one has to keep the sensitivities  of  the people in  mind every moment while  certifying films.”

Nihalani scoffs at Smriti Irani’s claims of  being an experienced  member of  the film industry. “What experience does she have of the film industry? Before she became  a  minister she was part  of  the television  industry. I have been a part of the Indian film industry for 55 years. I know  how  a producer thinks and  I also know how the audience reacts to matters of religion . Show Hanuman as gay, and see what happens.”

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