Pahlaj Nihalani: The lobbying was against me and not the CBFC

Pahlaj Nihalani, the CBFC’s former chief, claims of being lobbied against, thereby leading him to relinquish from the position.

“Even after my exit, the functioning of the CBFC is still the same; films are still getting cuts as the guidelines are the same even today. But there is no noise about the number of cuts and no one is calling the CBFC sanskari today. The lobbying was against me and not the CBFC,” Nihalani said.

With Prasoon Joshi as the new chief of CBFC, Freida Pinto and Richa Chadha starrer Love Sonia received 45 cuts, whereas Judwaa 2 and Simran received 5 and 10 cuts respectively.

“There were a few people who wanted me out of this position and I am happy I am no longer the chief of CBFC. I don’t think I have lost anything on being removed from the post. I have come back to films. It is an honourable post,” Nihalani said.

Adding further Nihalani said that it is not easy for Hindi films to get clearance internationally.

Nihalani said, “When a film goes to Dubai, Malaysia or Pakistan, they (the makers) have to cut a lot of things but they don’t make noise or talk about it. In India, Kaabil got a U/A certificate, he said, but in international markets, it got a 15 plus rating. In London, Baahubali got a 15 plus rating and in India, it had a U/A certificate. I think India is the most liberal country when it comes to censorship.”

“I had suggested a six-rating system but they did not consider it and because of all the controversies they appointed the Shyam Benegal committee. I don’t agree with the recommendations made by the Benegal committee. I feel the 1952 Act was better, it’s just that we need a rating system in place,” he added.

Nihalani further spoke about how he resolved major issues of certifications during his tenure.

“We made it a broker-free environment. I tried to bring in transparency, I tried my best to make things better. The officers used to work till late at night on Saturday and Sunday as well so that there was no delay in certification,” he said.

Currenlty, Pahlaj Nihalani is the distributor of the upcoming film Julie 2 starring Raai Laxmi, which is directed by Deepak Shivdasani. The film will release on October 6.