Smriti Irani asserts action against CBFC; Pahlaj sacked, Prasoon Joshi new chairman

Prasoon Joshi

Reports were doing the rounds for a couple of weeks that the Ministry of information and Broadcasting may replace Nihalani, according to The Times of India.

Veteran filmmaker Ashoke Pandit also spoke on Pahlaj Nihalani's sacking, "The entire film industry was unhappy with Pahlaj Nihalani and his way of running the Censor Board". He drew a lot of flack from the film fraternity, particularly filmmakers trying to get their works to a larger audience. His successor will be the famous lyricist Prasoon Joshi.

Pahlaj Nihalani's tenure as CBFC chief was riddled with controversies.

Earlier this year, Nihalani did not clear the trailer of Shah Rukh Khan's "Jab Harry Met Sejal" because of the word "intercourse". Pahlaj stated that, "These elements - I'm not going to name them on-record are now celebrating premature Diwali". A science graduate, Joshi started his career with Ogilvy and Mather and went on to become the executive vice-president of McCann-Erickson. After all, things were becoming a little too messy with the chopping and censoring of things that shouldn't be chopped or censored in the first place. The decision of the board was put under question and challenged in films like Udta Punjab, James Bond franchise -Spectre, and Lipstic Under My Burkha.

More details are awaited at present, concerning Joshi's appointment.

Nihalani claimed that he was proud to be known as the censor board chairperson who "took a firm stand against vulgarity and pseudo-liberalism" even though it made him unpopular.

"I am happy with this decision ... this had to happen", film-maker Ashok Pandit, a member of the outgoing panel, told Reuters over the phone. I am sure Prasoon will have a different outlook.

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