My Dear Baba Pahlaj Nihalani
Please don't take this as my 'inter'ference in your daily 'course' of conduct (kindly read as your daily routine) and I am addressing you as 'baba' in love and respect as we do for elders. I am with you for your great intentions to improve the functioning of CBFC and hassle free procedure of obtaining the censor certificate for producers.
But Sir, nowadays I am finding myself 'powerless' and 'clueless' on how to react on the continuous controversies surrounding your suggestions over censor certifications. It has now become synonymous with the every Friday release. Every week there is a new controversy like every week we have a new release.
Be it a sanitary napkin (come on even kids wear diapers), the word 'intercourse', a bottle of wine, an image of a women undergarment, remarks like 'lady oriented' film, your suggestions are becoming unbelievably surreal and shockingly biased and out of sync.
It's hard to believe that a brilliant indie arty movie like PARCHED filled with cuss words that speaks about women empowerment produced by Ajay Devgn gets cleared without any fuss, but a film like LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA produced by Prakash Jha which is in the same genre speaking about women empowerment and desires gets into trouble. Sir, please don't be mistaken in labeling me as a flag bearer demanding freedom and liberty in art and culture… I just want to know why PARCHED is okay and LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA is not.
Recently the word intercourse in JAB HARRY MET SEJAL starring SRK (he seems to be your favorite and in that case SRK should never play a gangster, don or a bad man as you claim kids follow SRK) and Anushka Sharma created a fuss that went beyond repair thanks to your bizarre challenge on a TV channel promising the inclusion of the word if you receive 1 lakh votes. Is there any election is going on..?.. the channel came back with more than 1 lakh votes yesterday and it was sad to see you tight lipped and completely mum after that initial warning – ' Don't follow me' to the reporter who waited patiently for hours and kept on requesting you for your feedback but in vain.
Tell me Sir, why should people 'follow you' when you make such a mockery of your position and the institution you are in. Sir, when you became the Chief of CBFC, I was glad that a filmmaker with proven track record of producing evergreen blockbusters like AANKHEN, SHOLA AUR SHABNAM, IILZAAM etc and a believer of Indian ethos and values will serve as a good bridge between producers and CBFC.
But unfortunately, you are called by all sorts of names and trolled on social media which makes me sad. I want people to remember you as the producer of one of the finest Bollywood comedy – AANKHEN and the one who brought the talent of the 90s Hero No. 1 Govinda into public eye with IILZAAM in 1986.. you remained the President of AMPTPP (Association of Pictures and TV Programme Producers) for a whooping 29 years and still the required confidence amongst filmmakers regarding you and CBFC is missing.
Whenever I discuss your topic with budding filmmakers, they discard you by calling your suggestions as a publicity stunt, saying you raise objections and come in news but when the same film gets cleared by the Court, you are not willing to say much. Some people alleged that it's a win win situation, you make your point and get in news, the maker gets a chance to create buzz and garner more public attention and in the end the Honorable Court will do what is right and that's what happens. Sir, are these allegations true?. Please reply.
Further, a section says it's all convenience.. when Pahlaj Nihalani was a producer his movie ANDAZ has songs like 'Khada Hai' and 'Mein Ye maal gaadi tu dhakka laga' and when quipped on this you have reportedly said that that time as a producer I took the 'freedom'.. then why stop your fellow filmmakers Sir?.
Strange but true, I conclude by this connection between you and Ekta Kapoor! Ekta Kapoor when produces an adult comedy like KYAA KOOL HAI HUM 3, she has no objection on women showed as objects and when she distributes LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA, she starts speaking about women empowerment, Pahlaj Nihalani as a producer in some of his films didn't pay heed to what he nowadays preach, is everything about what suits you at what time, is it a win win situation for all?, in all such questions the dignity of CBFC is at stake.. Are the members of CBFC so outdated and out of sync with times?
It's high time for you Mr. Nihalani that you shed the alleged BURKHA that people think you are wearing and show the truth by clearing that LIPSTICK (norm, believe) associated with you.
Throw away that BURKHA and wash that LIPSTICK Sir, we all are waiting.
A worried well-wisher
(The views expressed in the above write up are of the author, the website doesn't hold any responsibility)