If censorship is wrong, isn't Pahlaj Nihalani and Rangeela Raja wronged too?

What goes around comes around.

 |  3-minute read |   06-11-2018
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Revenge is a dish best served cold. Or better still, when served in the form of an order, like Prasoon Joshi did when he ordered 20 cuts on Pahlaj Nihalani’s upcoming film, Rangeela Raja.

The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has just refused to give the Govinda-starrer a clean chit until they go ahead and make the 20 cuts suggested by the board. Of course, Nihalani is not happy about it.

Nihalani filed a complaint against the CBFC at Bombay High Court. But guess what? As per an ANI report, Bombay High Court’s vacation bench has refused to even hear Nihalani’s plea on an urgent basis.

“Bombay High Court's vacation bench refuses to hear Pahlaj Nihalani's plea on urgent basis. Nihalani will again mention his plea against Censor Board cuts to 'Rangeela Raja' on 12th November,” ANI tweeted.

Yes, Karma has a new name. He is now known as Rangeela Raja.

The former CBFC chief, who has given us gems like Khada hai, khada hai, is known little for his contribution to Hindi cinema, and more for what he’s taken away — creative freedom, that is. His constant battle against “vulgarity and pseudo-liberalism’ almost cost us films like Udta Punjab and Lipstick Under My Burkha.

631401_110618025305.jpgStop, right there! (Photo: PTI)

When he decided to return to filmmaking with Julie 2, an erotic thriller, the irony wasn’t lost. The very ‘pseudo-liberalism’ he had waged a war against, granted the film an A certificate, with no cuts. Yup, we let you have your way once. Just once.

But not the second time. Which is why Prasoon Joshi seems to have gone all scissors snipping at Mr Edward Scissorhands, himself.

Rangeela Raja marks the return of the hit actor-director jodi, Govinda-Nihalani after 25 years. Govinda will also be seen in his characteristic rainbow-avatar. Yes, the film is crass in parts, with innuendos and sexist remarks, typical of the nineties films that the duo belted out at the time. Why are we not surprised? 

Twitterati call it poetic justice.

 

 

 

True, that what goes around comes around. As you sow, so you reap. But, if censorship is wrong, it is wrong. Irrespective of who is at the receiving end of the wrath. 

To say that Nihalani's film deserves to be censored simply because he is on the other end of the table now, with little or no power to abuse as he did during his tenure as the CBFC chief, is perpetuating the same idea of censorship that we had raised a voice against at the time. 

That said, we also do not want Nihalani to use this argument to get out of getting what he deserves. 

In the end, we hope good cinema wins. 

Also read: Koffee with #MeToo: What happens when two thinking men talk about sexual harassment in Bollywood

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