With Pahlaj Nihalani’s era as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief ending and the Prasoon Joshi era beginning, filmmaker Ashoke Pandit sees it as a silver lining for the filmdom.
Weighing in on this change of authority, the CBFC member told ANI, “I am thankful to the Government of India, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Smriti Iraniji and Rajyavardhan Rathore sahab that they have taken this decision of getting Prasoon Joshiji on the chair of the chairman of CBFC.”
“We all in the industry are very happy and excited with this decision made by Smritiji. We all, entire directors’ fraternity and producers’ fraternity, stand by Smritiji’s decision,” he further said, adding, “I’m sure the freedom of expression of a filmmaker will now be protected with Joshi coming in as a chairman.”
Furthermore, Pandit expressed his confidence in Joshi’s ability, saying that the Shyam Benegal committee’s report will soon be considered. “We all respect him a lot and as a writer, as a thinker, he identifies with today’s cinema,” he said, adding, “I’m very confident and sure the Shyam Benegal committee’s report will very soon come into force.”
Nihalani, who has been under the radar for the recent cuts and censorship in movies, was dethroned as the CBFC chief on Friday. “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952) read with rule 3 of the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983, the Central Government is pleased to appoint Sh. Prasoon Joshi as Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification in an honorary capacity from 11th August, 2017 for a period of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier,” said an Information and Broadcasting Ministry statement.
Nihalani, who took the office of the chairperson of CBFC on January 19, 2015, gained infamous reputation scissoring movies like Lipstick Under My Burkha, Jab Harry Met Sejal, Babumoshai Bandukbaaz, Udta Punjab and more, in the recent past.
On the other hand, writer-poet and advertising entrepreneur Joshi is a well known name in the industry. He was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2015 for his contributions towards the field of Arts, Literature and Advertising.
Joshi has received the Filmfare Best Lyricist Award three times, in 2007 and 2008 and again in 2014 for the Hindi movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. He has also received the National Film Award for ‘Best Lyrics’ twice, for his work in Taare Zameen Par (2007) and Chittagong (2013).