LYRICIST Prasoon Joshi Replaces Controversial Pahalaj Nihalani as India’s CBFC Chief

August 12th, 2017 | by eBangla Bureau
LYRICIST Prasoon Joshi Replaces Controversial Pahalaj Nihalani as India’s CBFC Chief


PRASOON Joshi, 45, popularly called ad man, lyricist, screenwriter, and marketer, has been appointed Chairman of the Mumbai headquartered Central Board of Film Certification replacing noted Bollywood film maker Pahlaj Nihalani. Information & Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, actor-producer turned politico, has removed Pahalaj Nihalani, who has produced films like Shola Aur Shabnam and Andaz in the past, and is a former president of the Association of Motion Picture and Television Programme Producers on the complaints from the film fraternity. Nihalani as the CBFC chief repeatedly angered the film makers for his puritanical views while giving approving films for screening in theatres.

Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, who has been appointed a member of the censor board, spoke about the structural changes in the government-appointed body which oversees all movies before they are released in India. Agnihotri said Smriti Irani was looking at the Central Board of Film Certification with a fresh perspective. “With Prasoon Joshi heading it, it was tempting for me to come on board.”

Joshi is known for his contribution to films like “Black”, “Taare Zameen Par”, “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, “Rang De Basanti”, “Delhi-6” and “Neerja” and for successful ad campaigns. Honoured with Padma Shri, the national award winner penned the theme song for PM Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and other campaigns. The government on Friday evening issued a notification announcing the appointment of Prasoon Joshi who hails from Uttarakhand. The notification read: “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952) read with rule 3 of the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983, the Central Government is pleased to appoint Sh. Prasoon Joshi as Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification in an honorary capacity from 11th August 2017 for a period of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier. The Notification supersedes the earlier notification F No. M-11020/1/2014-DO (FC) dated 19th January 2015. Vidya Balan, Gautami Tadimalla, Narendra Kohli, Naresh Chandra, Neil Herbert, Vivek Agnihotri, TS Nagabharana, Ramesh Patange, Vani Tripathi, Jeevitha Rajasekhar and Mihir Bhuta among others will be new CBFC Members..

Welcoming the move, Madhur Bhandarkar said “The upcoming chief has come from the advertising background. He is a lyricist also. I applaud Smirti Irani and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, MOS in the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, for the much needed change. I know only as much as you know. I heard that Nihalani has been asked to step down. I hope for the best.”Simran director Hansal Mehta hoped for a better certification process. He said, “It is good that a credible person has taken over the position but we should concentrate on making the certification process stronger and get that into effect sooner.”

Pahlaj Nihalani’s tenure as CBFC chief was riddled with controversies. Movies like Aligarh, Udta Punjab, Unfreedom, Ka Bodyscape, Lipstick Under My Burkha, Indu Sarkar and Babumoshai Bandookbaaz among others had to face the problems in CBFC during Nihalani’s chairmanship.Incientally, Pahlaj Nihalani began his career as a small-time distributor at the age of 14. He started his own distribution company in 1975 and branched into producing films. Shola Aur Shabnam, Dil Tera Deewana, Aankhen and Andaaz are some of the blockbusters he has produced. Before he was appointed chairperson of CBFC, Nihalani produced BJP’s campaign video for the 2014 general elections, Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi.It became an instant popular during  2014 Lok Sabha elections .

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