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Former CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani: During my tenure, I was bullied by the I&B Ministry into taking decisions

Pahlaj Nihalani is shocked by a Parliamentary Committee's decision to question director Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Padmavati before the censor board can view the film.

By: IANS | Mumbai | Updated: December 2, 2017 2:11 pm
pahlaj nihalani speaks about padmavati controversy and his cbfc tenure Pahlaj Nihalani’s tenure as CBFC chief was dogged by controversies.

Former CBFC Chairperson and producer Pahlaj Nihalani is shocked by a Parliamentary Committee’s decision to question director Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Padmavati before the censor board can view the film. He claimed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had also “bullied” him during his tenure.

“By all means, the Parliamentary Committee has every right to question Bhansali or any other filmmaker. But only after the Central Board of Film Certification views and certifies the film.

“By questioning him before the censor certificate, you are challenging the authority of the CBFC as the final arbitrary body to decide the fate of a film,” said Nihalani.

Nihalani feels the CBFC seems to have lost its authority. “During my tenure, I was bullied by the I&B Ministry into taking decisions.

“Now it’s a free-for all. Any and every governing body can question a film. Where does that leave the CBFC?”

As for Padmavati, Nihalani wonders where the film’s persecution stops. “To how many committees is Bhansali answerable? And where does this end? “Why is one of India’s best filmmakers being made to explain himself over and over again? And why is the CBFC not taking steps to clear the air once and for all,” questioned Nihalani, whose own tenure as the CBFC chief was dogged by controversies.

Padmavati, based on the life of legendary queen Padmini of Chittor, has been in controversy for a year now with various Rajput groups like Shri Rajput Karni Sena accusing Sanjay Leela Bhansali of distorting history and playing with the sentiments of people. From demands to ban the film to open death threats, things have only gotten uglier for the team of Padmavati.

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  1. M.n. Rao
    Dec 3, 2017 at 8:56 am
    We don’t know really what is good or bad in film Padmavati. However, filmi Pandits like Bhansali should be knowing it too well that in the guise of artistic freedom of expression, historical facts should not be twisted. For the sake of providing entertainment and making money, you can’t make film with Aurangzeb as hero or Akbar as a villain. Wonder of wonders however is that when none has seen Padmavathi, how they know that facts have been twisted
    1. V
      Dec 3, 2017 at 7:10 am
      Why didn't this guy leave the post during his tenure if he felt bullied? There's only one way this Underworld catering Industry works,either fall in line or get out. Bhansali is the Big Fish, you've to heap appraisals on him and align with him otherwise this film industry will outcast you. Vivek Agnihotri made a movie exposing Communism and the guy was done for, "Best Director" never came out to protest,same has happened to Anupam Kher probably.How do you judge a Director is worthy of being en led to Best? Ridicule Hindus,Exercise complete right of limitless freedom,Submit to Islam and propogate Western thought and lifestyle Bhansali fulfills all the four criterias
      1. R
        Dec 3, 2017 at 2:05 am
        Who says he's the best filmmaker.. Maybe that's ur personal opinion.. And even if that were the case he will still be subject to question on any of his films.. Especially if the film its going against people of the country.. Because he mite have attained status of God in ur eyes.. But in the eyes of the common public he's just a director.. Also the funding of this film should be investigated and if its funded by the mafia.. It should be banned all over the world.. What a shameless director and actors as well to support a film that is hurting sentiments and history lies...
        1. M
          Majboot Narak Sena
          Dec 2, 2017 at 10:29 pm
          Pahlaj saab, ye censor vensor ki baatein to chalte hee rahenge, chaliye, ek Patiala peg maarke aatey hain.
          1. A
            Dec 2, 2017 at 6:27 pm
            Subah Ho gayi Mamoooo......Hahahahha
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