Uncleji Pahlaj Nihalani kicked out from CBFC
Lyricist-adman Prasoon Joshi is said to replace him.
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Schadenfreude is not a likeable emotion, but today is a special day. And today it is acceptable. Pahlaj Nihalani – the grand old uncleji with a kink for chopping off scenes that affect his delicate, ultra-conservative sensibilities – is no longer the head of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
A few weeks ago, it was reported that a meeting of CBFC members has been called by Nihalani in Thiruvananthapuram on July 28. The Times of India reported that sources inside the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting have indicated that Nihalani, the CBFC's tyrannical, moral policing and sanskari chief may be replaced.
Reports now suggest that Nihalani will be replaced by Prasoon Joshi. The lyricist, screenwriter, poet and adman as the head of CBFC, may finally be the harbinger of change the archaic regulatory body desparately needs.
It is a great day. Under the reign of Nihalani, the CBFC was reduced to a bit more than a laughing stock and a little less than a fascist dictatorship – almost a Sacha Baron Cohen movie. As the CBFC chief, Nihalani has been notorious for shoving copious doses of "sanskar" down everyone’s throat, as he slashed sex scenes, beeped expletives and refused to certify films for being too feminist.
It may seem harsh that one is celebrating the unemployment of another man, but you have to see what Pahlaj Nihalani has “accomplished” during his time at the CBFC.
The man did not mind tasteless humour on homosexuality, transgender folk, and rapes in movies such as Great Grand Masti, yet he refused to certify a Jayan K Cherian’s Ka Bodyscapes – for “glorifying” homosexual relationships, “vulgarity”, depicting Hinduism in a “derogatory” fashion and for showing a “female Muslim character masturbating”.
He tried to refuse certification to Lipstick Under My Burkha because according to him, the film had, “contanious [sic] sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society”.
Not just that, the CBFC under Nihalani had a problem with filmmaker and academic Suman Ghosh’s documentary on Amartya Sen, The Argumentative Indian, for containing the words “cow”, “Hindutva view of India”, “Hindu India”, “Gujarat”. And sadly, all of this is just a tip of the iceberg.
So, if you are one of the hundreds and thousands who are celebrating this historic day, congratulations, it has finally happened. If you think mere words can’t express what you feel right now, here are 10 GIFs that will help you.