Censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani on January 31 alleged that director of the film “Aligarh”, Hansal Mehta is making an issue out of the A certificate given to the movie’s trailer just to garner publicity.
“Aligarh”, starring Rajkummar Rao and Manoj Bajpayee, is based on the real life incident of professor Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, who was fired from his job because of his alleged sexual orientation.
Mehta had criticised the censor board for the A certificate, saying he was “surprised” by the cuts they asked for in the film and termed the board “homophobic”.
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Nihalani, defending his decision, said the the topic of homosexuality is not for kids and teenagers to watch.
“The certification we have given to the trailer is according to the content. If the makers feel it is not justified then let them take a public opinion on this… Tell
me, is the subject of homosexuality for kids? For teenagers? We have already cleared the film and now they are creating a controversy. This is a cheap publicity stunt by him (Mehta),” Nihalani told PTI.
Mehta had alleged that by giving the trailer an A certificate the censor board has “put a stop to the promotions” as the promo will now run only with an adult rated film.
“The film (Aligarh) deals with homosexuality, we have given the trailer an A certificate and it will run with other adult films. We are not trying to sabotage the film at all. Itis on the makers to accept it or not. If they want to go to the revising committee or tribunal they can go so by all means. In fact, we will be happy if they get the desired results from there,” he added.
Nihalani further said it is unfair to compare Acertificate given to “Aligarh” with the promos of adult comedies “Mastizaade” and “Kya Kool Hai Hum 3”.
“The subject (of homosexuality) is such that I think he (Mehta) was scared… They are now creating a fuss over the trailer. Films cannot be compared with each other. You cannot say ‘That was passed so why not this’, everything has to be viewed in the context. It is absolutely unfair to do that,” he added.
“‘Mastizaade’ had 350 cuts, ‘Kya Kool Hai Hum 3’ had 200 cuts before they were passed. In fact, we have given an A-Certificate to ‘Aligarh’, but have not cut any visual scenes. There are only a few verbal cuts. Rest everything has been passed. So how can they say we are sabotaging the film because it’s about homosexuality? This is sending out a wrong message. We have cleared his film,” Nihalani added.
On the new committee appointed by the Centre to look into the working of the board, which has been at he receiving end of criticism by filmmakers for its decisions, Nihalani said a few people will still be unhappy.
“Even if new rules are framed in the future regarding certification, filmmakers will have certain problems regarding a few things. This is a never ending debate,” he said.