The fight between censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani and the board members has escalated and reached the information and broadcasting ministry.
The fight between censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani and the board members has escalated and reached the information and broadcasting ministry. The chief of Central Broad of Film Certification (CBFC) is understood to have approached Union I&B minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and expressed his displeasure at the working of a few members of his board, including Ashoke Pandit.
It is also understood that the CBFC chief has sought clarification from the government over the appearance of a few board members on television debates during the time when it was embroiled in some controversial decisions without seeking the board’s consent.
Sources stated that the move comes after the August 5 meeting of the CBFC, held in Mumbai after a gap of a year, which saw heated exchanges between a section of its members and chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani. These protesting CBFC members accused the CBFC chief of trying to gag them and take arbitrary decisions.
It is understood that the CBFC members and Mr Nihalani have been at loggerheads as they are seemingly upset with Mr Nihalani for trying to take certain “arbitrary decisions” without seeking their prior approval.
Some recent contentious decisions of the CBFC, like suggesting major cuts to films like Udta Punjab, were also a flash point between the two camps elicited protests from members.
It was felt that the board, which is responsible for certifying films, was overstepping its brief by imposing censorship. The controversy had led to a massive outrage in the film industry and the decision to impose almost 90 cuts by the CBFC was also reversed by the courts.
It is also learnt that not all members are in favour of the chairperson’s orders asking all filmmakers to submit their work for certification on a digital cinema package (DCP) format. The difficulty to replicate technology was seemingly introduced to plug any incidents of leakage of recent films like Udta Punjab, Great Grand Masti and Kabali.