Films still being cut, but no noise now: Ex CBFC chief Nihalani
Mumbai: Former censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani believes he was removed from the top post because of lobbying not in favour of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) but against him.
To bolster his argument, Nihalani said no objections were raised now when the board asked directors to make cuts in their films.
"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," he said, referring to allegations of moral policing that he faced while he held the office.
"The lobbying was against me and not the CBFC," Nihalani said.
The government last month replaced Nihalani with songwriter-adman Prasoon Joshi.
According to the reports, under the chairmanship of Joshi, the makers of "Love Sonia" were asked to make 45 cuts in the film starring Freida Pinto and Richa Chadha. The board reportedly ordered five cuts in Varun Dhawan-starrer "Judwaa 2". Kangana Ranaut's recently-released film, "Simran" got 10 cuts.
"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," he added.
The producer-distributor said a Hindi film faced more trouble while getting clearance in international markets than in India.
"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," he said. "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," he added.
Nihalani said during his tenure as the CBFC chief, he recommended a rating system according to age brackets, which the government did not consider.