Four actors owing allegiance to the BJP and the vice-chancellor of a Central university were Monday named as members of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) by the Centre as it reconstituted the body — in news recently after its chairperson and 13 members resigned slamming the government — by appointing filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani as the new chairperson of the Board.
Nihalani, maker of formula films like Aankhen and Shola aur Shabnam, has been appointed “in an honorary capacity from January 19, 2015, for a period of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier”. The nine members have also been appointed for a three-year period.
Amongst those appointed as members, Prof Syed Abdul Bari is the Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Gujarat, George Baker is an actor-turned-politician who contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Howrah on a BJP ticket and lost, Vani Tripathi Tikoo is an actor and former secretary of the BJP, Jeevitha is a Telugu actress-filmmaker and a BJP leader and S Ve Shekhar is a dramatist-comedian who is also affiliated to the BJP. Ramesh Patange, who has also been appointed to the Board is a member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Samajik Samarasta Manch. Others who have been appointed as members on the board include actor-director Chandra Prakash Dwivedi, filmmaker Ashoke Pandit and writer Mihir Bhuta.
Former chairperson Leela Samson had resigned from her post citing “interference, coercion and corruption of panel members and officers of the organisation” appointed by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry. She was followed by 13 members of the CBFC who put in their papers saying it was impossible to work “with even a modicum of efficacy or autonomy” given the “cavalier and dismissive manner” in which the CBFC is treated by the government.