Oct 072017

Union minister Smriti Irani yesterday said the government views agencies like the censor board “as facilitators” within the ambit of law. She also said she never spoke about former Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Nihalani because irrespective of the kind of cinema he makes, he is a senior member of the film fraternity.

Smriti Irani
Smriti Irani

The government recently replaced Nihalani with songwriter Prasoon Joshi as the censor board chief. Since his appointment as the head of CBFC in January 2015, Nihalani had made headlines for a number of controversial moves and statements. “We have had an unwritten rule, that irrespective of their kind of work we have always given respect to people who are senior or chronologically older than us…,” Irani said in conversation with filmmaker Karan Johar at the India Economic Summit here.

“I have never spoken about Mr Nihalani in public and I have chosen not to do so because irrespective of the kind of cinema he makes, he has a seniority,” the Information & Broadcasting minister said. “The only issue is that the government foresees an agency (CBFC) to be a facilitator within the ambit of law and that is all that we are interested in,” she added.

Besides, sharing his experiences and problems faced as a filmmaker, Johar said, “When the crisis happened during ‘My Name is Khan’ it is something that I will never forget. Mr (Narendra) Modi was CM (chief minister) of Gujarat at that time. “I called him because the problem was penetrating to Gujarat from Maharashtra. We got in touch with him and in 10 minutes the problem was sorted and that gives us as an industry a lot of hope”.

In a candid conversation with Johar, Irani touched upon the subject of nepotism surrounding the director. “I will say this as an actor, you (Johar) are in the news for the wrong reasons of late nepotism and all,” she said. Recalling her past experience with him as an actor, the minister said that Johar sees everyone with respect.

“I have seen you as a filmmaker even when I was a nobody. I had a huge amount of respect for you because you treated every person who walked up to you with dignity irrespective of whom their parents were, and I think that is what we need to set right about the industry, that the industry is not about nepotism, we are about talent.

“It is the Shah Rukh Khans that actually tell the world that we are about talent. It is about people like Ekta (Kapoor). I have seen scores of people line up from villages at her doorstep… that is what we are about, that is what you (Karan) are about also but you don’t tell anybody that. You like to take some very serious fights out in the open”.

Asked about the protests in Rajasthan against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus “Padmavati”, the minister told Johar: “I am absolutely sure that the law and order situation will be under control there and state government will ensure that there are no miscreants to disrupt any kind of interaction or discipline and I will also say this that we
have a very watchful media so be rest assured”.

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Sep 222017

A still from the songA still from the song

Bollywood filmmakers heaved a sigh of relief when Pahlaj Nihalani was ousted from his post as chief of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and welcomed Prasoon Joshi.

The move, it was suggested, would minimise the unwarranted cuts demanded in films that had made Nihalani infamous among contemporaries.However, going by the Board’s recent decision, it appears that little has changed after the new appointment.

Prasoon Joshi and Anant Mahadevan
Prasoon Joshi and Anant Mahadevan

Actor-director Anant Mahadevan’s upcoming thriller, the Gautam Rode, Abhinav Shukla and Zareen Khan-starrer Aksar 2, has become the latest victim of the Board’s censoring. The song in question is Aaj Zid. Interestingly, Mahadevan says he is yet to receive an explaination for why the CBFC thought the song was inappropriate for television audiences.

“I don’t know what the CBFC finds unsuitable for viewers. The song is on YouTube, and anyone who has seen it will tell you that it doesn’t have objectionable content. The romance between the lead pair hasn’t been shown inappropriately,” Mahadevan says, adding that should the Board be willing to reveal their reservations, he will consider implementing cuts.

“It seems that they [board members] don’t have a clue on how to go about the procedures. I hope that they consider their decision again and permit a television release, as it is part of our publicity plan.”

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Sep 122017

Bollywood fraternity breathed a sigh of relief when Pahlaj Nihalani, the ‘too-sanskaari- to-handle’ Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification, was finally sacked.

The man made headlines every other day during his reign because of his insane demands to eliminate certain words and scenes from movies. He even disallowed the word intercourse in the trailer of ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’, reasoning that the Indian mentality is not ready for such progressiveness yet.

‘Julie 2' Gets ‘A' Certificate From CBFC With No Cuts© The Social Monk

Oh but how the tables have turned now in your favour, haven’t they, Mr Nihalani?  So when he was finally replaced by ace lyricist Prasoon Joshi, the Indian film industry and even the audience rejoiced. But the happiness didn’t last for long!

‘Julie 2' Gets ‘A' Certificate From CBFC With No Cuts© Twitter (Open Magazine)

Nihalani managed to stir the country by becoming the ‘presenter and distributor’ of an upcoming (erotic) thriller, ‘Julie 2′.

But, of course, he had an explanation for the same. When the trailer was released, he was of the view that ‘Julie 2′ should get an ‘A’ certificate because it is a “very, clean adult movie” even though the trailer was in complete contrast to his clarification.

‘Julie 2' Gets ‘A' Certificate From CBFC With No Cuts

He further added in an interview that ‘Julie 2′ should be given an ‘A’ certificate without any cuts. There is no vulgarity, obscenity or even a language problem.”Turns out, his dreams have come true as the movie has cleared the censors and has received an ‘A’ certificate from CBFC without any cuts. We repeat: no cuts whatsoever!

Mr. Nihalani is obviously on cloud nine now as he even expressed his happiness by saying, “This is just what I had hoped for. If I was still the CBFC chairperson, I’d have given Julie 2 an ‘Adults’ certificate with no cuts. It is a clean adult film for adult members of a family. Though it’s a film on an adult subject – the exploitation of strugglers and newcomers in Bollywood—the film has no nudity, no skin show, and no double-meaning dialogues. Like I said it is a family film for adults and the CBFC has done the right thing.”

The internet went ballistic when the trailer was released and didn’t shy away from calling Nihalani a hypocrite for peddling soft-porn, to which he conveniently replied, “Soft porn or soft corn, or harsh reality, let the film release. The world will know.”

“I can’t even”…“daf***”…“Ye kya bak****i hai”. Go on. Take your pick from these expressions while venting about this hysterically ironical moment!


Sep 042017

Former Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani has turned distributer for ‘Julie 2′, a thriller directed by Deepak Shivdasani. The film is a sequel to the 2004 film ‘Julie’ which Wikipedia describes as an ‘erotic film’. The man who denied a clearance to ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ for being too ‘lady oriented’ among other things is presenting a film whose tagline is ‘Bold, beautiful, blessed’. 

Pahlaj Nihalani Set To Take All Sanskaar Out Of ‘Julie 2'© Triumph Talkies

Nihalani, whose censor axe fell down heavily on a lot many films, now believes his film ‘Julie 2′ should get an ‘A’ certificate and be cleared without any cuts. “Julie 2′ should be given an ‘A’ certificate without any cuts. There is no vulgarity, obscenity or even a language problem,” Nihalani told Mumbai Mirror.

Pahlaj Nihalani Set To Take All Sanskaar Out Of ‘Julie 2'© Triumph Talkies

Defending his position as CBFC chief as someone who had to follow the rulebook, he added, “”There were cuts because I have followed the guidelines.” Just in case you haven’t seen the trailer of ‘Julie 2′, here have a watch:

Twitter burst into a rather sanskaari climax at the u-turn:

Comic José Covaco? had a brilliant solution to ensure the film sticks to our sanskaars

Palhaj Nihalani’s new film is destroying our Culture and our Sanskaars so I’ve made some options for the poster. pic.twitter.com/nhON3anQcU

— José Covaco (@HoeZaay) September 4, 2017

It’s raining bans

😂😂😂😂 this calls for a “blanket” ban @nairsameer

— Suresh Menon (@sureshnmenon) September 4, 2017

Sanskaars all over

This is Pahlaj Nihalani doing his bit for Beti Padhao scheme. Julie taking a nap after intense cerebral reading. pic.twitter.com/vt8q4t7Ocq

— Naomi Datta (@nowme_datta) September 4, 2017

Pahlaj Nihalani still doing his duty as Censor Board chief

Haters will deny but it was Pahlaj Nihalani’s decision to put a book to cover. pic.twitter.com/qic4SRYpjZ

— Donald Duck (@WatDaDuck_) September 4, 2017

Making films for families to teach sanskaars

Pahlaj Nihalani #Julie2 is Total family film.. Everyone in family will love to see it but not with each other � � �

— crime master gogo (@vipul2777) September 4, 2017

Now we know what Pahlaj Nihalani was visualising when journalists were asking him questions… pic.twitter.com/6j7YrXEf5m

— The-Lying-Lama (@KyaUkhaadLega) September 4, 2017

Am delighted that the Censor Board relieved Pahlaj Nihalani of the burdens of office so that he could give us Julie 2.😂😂😂

— SUHEL SETH (@suhelseth) September 4, 2017

Take your family along to watch it 

Pahlaj Nihalani, the man who vowed to ‘clean up’ Indian cinema, returns to movies as the producer of this family entertainer. pic.twitter.com/db2PkUQheg

— Suprateek Chatterjee (@SupraMario) September 4, 2017

Aug 232017

It has been nearly two weeks since lyricist and screenwriter Prasoon Joshi succeeded Pahlaj Nihalani to take over the position of the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) chief. And it seems that within 12 days of his joining, Joshi has already sent a movie into his recycle bin. ‘Toofan Singh’, the first film sent to Joshi for certification has been reportedly banned in India on the grounds of excessive violence. It is a Punjabi film directed by Baghal Singh and narrates the story of Toofan Singh, who adopted terrorism to fight politics and corruption in the Indian bureaucracy.   

New CBFC Chief Prasoon Joshi Bans Punjabi Film ‘Toofan Singh'© Royal Cine Arts

According to a report published in DNA, a source from the CBFC said, “Toofan Singh is a terrorist, who goes on a rampage killing corrupt cops and politicians. And they’ve compared him to Bhagat Singh. The film is brutal and anarchic. We couldn’t empathise with its message of brute power, let alone grant it a censor certificate.” The film, however, has already been released overseas. Ranjit Bawa plays the titular role of Toofan Singh. 

Joshi joined as the CBFC chief after Pahlaj Nihalani was fired by the government and we are sure Bollywood must have breathed a sigh of relief after his ousting. Nihalani was often at loggerheads with the directors for his unnecessary ‘cuts’ in films. If you think the word unnecessary is kind of weird to use here, well, don’t forget that he is the guy under whose leadership the censor board released a list of banned words that included ‘Bombay’ and over 30 other cuss words. Had Bollywood listened to him, then National award-winning movies like ‘Darr’, ‘Dabangg’, ‘Vicky Donor’, ‘The Dirty Picture’ or ‘Omkara’ wouldn’t have captured our attention like they did.       

Source: DNA  


Aug 172017

barfani-song-aThe Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer film ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’, has already become the most talked about film mainly because of the intimate scenes. Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bidita Bag will be seen sharing several intimate moments in the film and that had invited the wrath of ex-CBFC chief, Pahlaj Nihalani. The makers had appealed to the FCAT and the has been cleared by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) with ‘eight minor, voluntary cuts’.

Since the film got attention because of the racy nature of its trailer and songs, actress Bidita Bag spoke at lenght about the ‘love making scenes’ in the film. In an interview to Mumbai Mirror, Bidita Bag says, “Phulwa, my character in the film is very unusual. The first two takes were looking very innocent, cute and lovey-dovey. The character’s boldness, the rawness, her overpowering personality and her passion was not showing. So I insisted on retakes to bring about that rawness. Also, I was cast opposite Nawazuddin, a perfectionist. While kissing for the camera, two people shouldn’t merely be rubbing at each other’s lips. A kiss should be true to the characters they are playing.”

Despite this being her first film with Nawazuddin Siddiqui, the actress had no apprehension or qualms about performing intimate scenes before the camera. Bidita has often mentioned that Nawazuddin comforted her and their chemistry stems from there. Chitrangda Singh, who was formerly signed for the thriller, had already shot for the intimate scenes earlier. As she is no longer a part of the film, Nawazuddin had to re-shoot for the scenes with Bidita. Now that The Tribunal has passed the film without cuts, the intimate scenes can be seen in theatres.

Produced by Kiran Shyam Shroff and Ashmith Kunder, directed by Kushan Nandy and written by Ghalib Asad Bhopali, ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’ is scheduled to release on August 25.

Aug 112017

It looks like the entertainment industry can finally relax as Pahlaj Nihalani’s sanskari reign has come to an end. Nihalani’s tenure was a dark era for Bollywood and people’s artistic liberty suffered, because of his famous cuts. However, it’s time to rejoice. The Central Board of Film Certification has finally sacked Pahlaj Nihalani and way too many people are already celebrating this golden day.

11th August 2017, will go down in history books as the day Bollywood was liberated from sanskari Nihalani’s reign of terror. CBFC has finally given an ‘A’ certificate (A = axed) to Nihalani.

And now, famous lyricist and poet Prasoon Joshi will take the mantle. Many are optimistic about this change and feel Joshi is the right successor.

#BREAKING | #PahlajNihalani removed as #CBFC chief. Prasoon Joshi takes charge pic.twitter.com/1m0eK2sK7H

— EconomicTimes (@EconomicTimes) August 11, 2017

From treating the CBFC like his personal territory to asking for irrational cuts and imposing his sense of ethics and morals on the Hindi film industry, Nihalani was constantly in the line of fire. Clearly, he didn’t understand that his job was only to certify a film.

For people who are late, Nihalani has been in news for creating various issues while certifying various film. Be it Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Indu Sarkaar’ or Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’, he had issues with the content, scenes, and words being used in the film. He kicked off the biggest controversy when he refused to certify “Lipstick Under My Burqa”, which talks about female sexuality and desire, calling it a “lady-oriented” film. Very recently he ordered 48 cuts in Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bidita Bag starrer ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’.

Now that the news of Nihalani being sacked is out, the Indian internet can’t keep clam and is already celebrating the decision. Check out the reactions here:

Replacing #PahlajNihalani with #PrasoonJoshi is swapping uncool with cool, silliness with brains. Hope Smriti Irani will overhaul system now

— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) August 11, 2017

#PahlajNihalani replaced by Prasoon Joshi as the Censor Board Chief.

Anurag Kashyap right now: pic.twitter.com/XAmKIm1pp3

— Sand-d Singh (@Sand_In_Deed) August 11, 2017

Yes yes yes finally the dark times for Indian entertainment is over #PahlajNihalani is finally GONE!!
Prasoon Joshi, high hopes from you

— Sharanya Narayanan (@iamsharz) August 11, 2017

Indian Film Industry right now. #PahlajNihalani pic.twitter.com/5suwLRZohz

— Nikhil Wad (@nikhilswad) August 11, 2017

Finally, flowers won’t have to touch each each other for the sex that humans have. #PahlajNihalaniSacked #PahlajNihalani Pahlaj Nihalani

— Mihir Ved (@itsmihir1993) August 11, 2017

#PahlajNihalani : cut this scene.

Everyone : ab tu cut le.

— RoAdSiDe BaBa (@Roadside_Monk) August 11, 2017

#PahlajNihalani  aka #SanskariNihalani sacked as the CBFC chief. Great positive move. To be replaced by @prasoonjoshi_
Kudos � pic.twitter.com/rwUBWy0RgI

— Sarthak Sahu (@sarthak9394) August 11, 2017

Pahlaj Nihalini is gone. Producers to shell out more for marketing of their movie. Free ki publicity khatam. #SanskariNihalani

— Shareq Inamdar (@itssrq) August 11, 2017

While some ain’t happy with the replacement:

Prasoon Joshi has pretty problematic views on freedom of speech by the way.  #PahlajNihalani #CBFC

— Zico Ghosh (@zico_gh0sh) August 11, 2017

Aug 112017


Pahlaj Nihalani, who treated the Censor Board as his personal fiefdom has finally been shown the door and will be replaced by adman, Prasoon Joshi. The controversial filmmaker used the Censor Board to propagate his own agendas and was always panned for his regressive views. Several films had been at the receiving end of his moral policing. Amongst those which, Pahlaj refused to certify was, ‘Udta Punjab’, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’, ‘KA Bodyscapes’, etc. He used to ask the directors to edit out crucial scenes and dialogues in the films, under the garb of ‘providing wholesome family entertainment’.

If sources are to be believed then Prasoon Joshi will soon be taking over as the new Censor Board chief.

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Jul 232017

From being in endless controversies for its content to Central Board of Film Certification deciding to ban it in our country, Lipstick Under My Burkha has finally hit the theatres on 21st July. And boy, people have amazing things to say about Alankrita Shrivastav’s alternative narration.

With all the debate and disagreement around the film, I went to watch the film thinking there will be a lot of sex scenes, abuses, audio pornography, etc. Or the film will portray everything against our so-called culture; women will suddenly go into the revolution mode, rebel against their husbands, go out and live that ‘independent’ life. But actually there was nothing as such, so I wonder what exactly was Mr. Pahlaj Nihalani scared of. To know all about this bold and brilliant film read our review.

Lipstick Under My Burkha (c) Twitter

Alankrita Shrivastava’s movie is about lives of four women living in Bhopal who have their sexual desires and needs but are scared to express it aloud because of the society we live in. Because Indian women are not supposed to be sexually active because it’s a man’s job.

Releasing a film like this wasn’t an easy task; after all Nihalani was very concerned about ‘log kya kahenge’. The film didn’t have a certification from the CBFC for a very long time but that’s not it. Here we also have a list of the scenes that were chopped off from the film in name of sanskar and sabhyata.

This list has been doing the rounds on the internet. It consists of 11 cuts made in the film and 16 cuts that the filmmakers did for CBFC’s satisfaction.

Lipstick Under My Burkha(c) Scroll

Lipstick Under My Burkha (c) Scroll

Well, well, well here’s a line from the film for all the honourable members of CBFC that we would love to get an answer from, “Lipstick maat lagao, affair ho jayega. Jeans maat pehno, scandal ho jayega. I want to ask the authorities aisa kya ho jayega? Humari azadi se aap itna daarte kyu hai?”

Jul 032017

Imtiaz Ali continues teasing us with mini trailers every week for the upcoming movie ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’. The new mini trailer is like another piece in the block of puzzle for the viewers to decode the storyline. The search for the ring continues in this one as well.

Jab Harry Met Sejal Trailer 5© YouTube

Honestly, we are now awaiting a full fledged trailer that gives a peek into the excellence of Imtiaz’s direction and the versatility of Anushka and SRK as actors. The last 4 trailers also looked kinda fun but couldn’t freeze the excitement for the fans.

The only reason we are holding on is because we have full faith in this powerful trio. The movie is already under the radar for having a similar title to a famous Hollywood movie and is also facing the unwanted wrath of Pahlaj Nihalani over the usage of the word ‘intercourse’ . The movie is scheduled to release on August 4th.