Filmmaker Prakasha Jha’s latest release, Lipstick Under My Burka, locked horns with CBFC for months, as Chairman CBFC Pahlaj Nihalani refused to certify the film calling it “lady oriented”.
Amid all the speculation that Pahlaj Nihalani might be asked to quit the Chairmanship of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), names of probable successors are up in the air, which include the likes of filmmaker Prakash Jha, followed by Madhur Bhandarkar, and TV producer and actor Chandraprakash Dwivedi.
However, Prakash Jha said, “I have no idea about this. I have only read it in the newspapers. I cannot talk about this.”
Now is it an irony or a pure coincidence, that Prakash Jha’s latest production, ‘Lipstick under My Burkha’, was stuck in a six-month long battle with the CBFC, as Pahlaj Nihalani refused to certify the film calling it ‘lady oriented.’ Finally, after a long scuffle the film was released on July 21.
On the issue of censorship, Prakash Jha had earlier quoted, “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.”
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, too, dismissed these rumour saying, “I’ve absolutely no clue about it, as I’m busy with my movie (Indu SArkar) promotions, so can’t comment anything.”
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.
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’.