The tenure of controversial chairman of CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification), Pahlaj Nihalani, has come to an end and from now on CBFC is going to have famous lyricist and advertisement specialist Mr. Prasoon Joshi as the new head of the board. Nihalani was appointed the chief of this board in January,2015 and now sacked earlier than January,2018 due to his controversy-prone track record.This decision of change of head of the board follows the assessment of Nihalani’s tenure which was criticised with negative feedback most of the time. It is perceived very well that the directors,the producers and largely the whole film industry are happy with this change as Nihalani was charged with harassment of film industry personnels in matters of film editing, censoring, releasing, certifying and even trying to ban a film. According to some media sources, Nihalani’s colleagues have vowed that he used to treat the CBFC as his personal fiefdom and tried to monopolise the board’s decision.
Nihalani’s tenure is marked with a lot of controversial decisions regarding film censorship and film certification. Recently he denied to certify the film ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ tagging it as ‘women-centric’. Later director of this film, Alankrita Shrivastava won her case against the board and the movie got its release finally. Scandals also involved his name in demanding irrational and multiple cuts in Madhur Bhandarkar’s “Indu Sarkar”. Nihalani even showed his detest and objection against the usage of the word ‘intercourse’ in the SRK-Anushka starrer ” When Harry Met Sejal”. Another attitude of Nihalani was severely criticised when he decided to bleep the words like ‘cow’ and ‘Hindu India’ in a documentary by eminent economist and Nobel Laureate, Dr. Amartya Sen. Earlier,in 2016, Nihalani’s board had demanded a total 89 cuts in the movie “Udta Punjab ” ; and was slammed by the High Court with an order saying “not to kill creativity”.
However, the critics and the artists are happy with the new Chairman, Mr. Prasoon Joshi, one of the famous lyricists and screenwriters, who won Padma Shri in 2015 and also twice won the National Award For Best Lyrics for ‘Maa’ in Taare Zameen Par (2008)’ and ‘Bol na’ in Chittagong (2013). He has also films like Neerja and Rang De Basanti in his repertoire. This adman-lyricist has also worked for BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha polls and worked in making the Swach Bharat Abhiyan anthem. Now actor Vidya Balan also joins the CBFC along with other eminent personalities.