Filmmaker Karan Johar can come to the censor board with Ok Jaanu — his production on a live-in relationship — without worrying, says Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani, who wonders why he is called corrupt if he doesn’t “cut the kisses”. Netizens have spoken out about “double standards” being displayed by the censorship board and have raised questions on how and why the kisses in “Spectre”, Tamasha and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil were curtailed/deleted when now “Befikre” gets away with lots of kissing. Gossip mills have it that money has exchanged hands.
But Nihalani laughs it off and says, “So, I am corrupt if I don’t cut the kisses. I am corrupt and ‘sanskaari’ if I cut the kisses. I might as well go with the first option.” The makers of the forthcoming “Ok Jaanu”, co-produced by Karan’s Dharma Productions, are said to be now looking at a more liberal approach to their film.
But Nihalani is not biting the bait. “The film that you mention has not come to us as yet. And we are certainly not going to certify it keeping ‘Befikre’ in mind as a yardstick. Nothing like, ‘Agar uske paas 20 kisses hain toh mere paas 10 (‘If they have 20 kisses, we have 10’.) Every film will be certified on its individual merit,” he said.
Clarifying his stance on a perception being projected within the film industry that the CBFC has a soft corner for Aditya Chopra’s Yash Raj Films, which has produced “Befikre”, and not such a soft corner for Karan’s banner, he said: “You mean because we cut the kisses in ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ and not in ‘Befikre’?”
“Firstly, let me make it very clear that there was no kiss between Ranbir Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to cut in ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’. Yes, we did cut the kiss between Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma because we felt that the kiss was unduly prolonged.” “Secondly, when his film was in trouble over the presence of a Pakistani artiste, I was one of Karan’s most vocal supporters. Karan is the son of my old friend, the wonderful Yash Johar who was one of the most upright and kind souls in this film industry. Karan is like my own son.”
“Let him come to the censors with ‘Ok Jaanu’, ekdum befikre. We’ll do whatever is the right thing to do.”