The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Nihalani is once again in the news for his Sanskari antics. The latest row includes Shah Rukh Khan Starrer ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ and its trailer. The trailer mentions the word ‘intercourse’ (sex) and it has offended the moral guardian of our country, Nihalani. The bizarre explanation given for this is that it corrupts young mind and it is against our culture and now Nihalani has said that if he gets over one lakh signatures then he will allow the above mentioned word.
The controversies are nothing new for Mr Nihalani; he has time and again put his foot in mouth by making ridiculous statements. Just last year Nihalani ordered 89 cuts (Yes, you have heard it right) to the film Udta Punjab and said that it shows Punjab in bad light. The movie depicted Punjab and its drug menace. It created a huge controversy nationally and makers of the film went to High Court and had only one cut in the film and the better sense prevailed. The funny thing about how Nihalani got the tag of Sanskari censor chief is, when he shortened the length of kissing scene in the Hollywood movie ‘Spectre’ and the irony is that he didn’t even watch the film.
Pahlaj Nihalani recently stayed the release of film ‘Lipstick under my Burqa’ (made by a female filmmaker) and called it ‘too lady oriented’ and emphasised that it is not fit for the consumption for the viewers. The examples are innumerable and it shows India in bad light. The main job of CBFC is to grant certificates and not to censor. India in the 21st century wants to see films that are independent, bold and should have no restrictions. Nihalani has no right to be the moral guardian and if an individual, who is above 18 years can vote to elect a federal government, then he has every right to watch any film he wants to see.
Freedom to decide
The censorship in the era of internet and social media just doesn’t work and why are we becoming countries like China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, which control and censure films? India is world’s largest democracy and prides itself on freedom of speech and freedom of expression.
The main problem with Nihalani and his views are the double standard practiced by him. He has a problem with dialogues, certain scenes and in case of Udta Punjab, the entire film. Nihalani, when he was a producer and director made many films, which were bordering on vulgar and double meaning kind of films, which wouldn’t have passed under him as CBFC chief. Indian people are fed up with propagandas on with what to eat, what to wear, what to watch and films are supposed to show us every sphere of life and it’s high time that we reject censorship of any form.
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