Pahlaj Nihalani slams CBFC for demanding 20 cuts in Rangeela Raja, moves Bombay High Court
The former CBFC chairman has accused the Prasoon Joshi-led body of carrying out a "personal vendetta" against his film
Former Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chairman Pahlaj Nihalani moved Bombay High Court on Monday challenging the CBFC’s decision to suggest 20 cuts in his upcoming film, Rangeela Raja. Accusing the Prasoon Joshi-led body of personal malice, Nihalani, who was ousted as CBFC chairman in August last year, told news agency IANS: “This is nothing but personal vendetta. When I was the chairperson I left a lot of people angry and upset with me. Now when my film has been submitted for censoring, they are taking out their frustrations on me. But I won’t go down without a fight.”
Pahlaj Nihalani took office as CBFC chairman in January, 2015. His two-and-a-half -year-long term was marked with controversies as several filmmakers accused him of misusing his power and ordering unreasonable and excessive cuts in their films. His run-ins with the makers of Lipstick Under My Burkha and Udta Punjab were widely publicized, earning him the social media title of “sanskari chief”. Nihalani was sacked from his position on August 11, 2017 amid mounting discontent against the censorship body. He was replaced by lyricist-screenwriter Prasoon Joshi by then-I&B minister Smriti Irani.
Following his CBFC stint, Nihalani returned to film production by presenting the 2017 erotic-thriller, Julie 2. He has written and produced Rangeela Raja, which stars Govinda in a double role. Nihalani and Govinda have collaborated on films such as Ilzaam, Shola Aur Shabnam and Aankhen.
“Everybody knows about Prasoon Joshi’s enduring friendship with Aamir Khan. No one is surprised that Thugs of Hindostan was given an all-clear censor certification out of turn, while my film Rangeela Raja which was submitted well in time 60 days ahead of release, has been slapped with multiple cuts which I am not taking. No sir,” Nihalani added.
Rangeela Raja also stars Shakti Kapoor, Digangana Suryavanshi, Mishika Chourasia, Mahesh Anand and Govind Namdev. The film is directed by Sikander Bharti and is expected to arrive in theatres on November 16, 2018.