Censor Board chairman Pahlaj Nihalani and a member of the film board Ashoke Pandit has been at the loggerheads ever since the Prakash Jha-produced movie Lipstick Under My Burkha was banned. Pandit had condemned the decision taken by Nihalani, publicly. As a reply, Nihalani, in an interview with TV channel CNN-News 18, said that Pandit does not know what he is talking about as he has never been a producer. He questioned the filmmaker by saying, “Why doesn’t he follow the guidelines as a board member, as I do?” To this, Pandit retaliated, when he told the TV channel that he felt like laughing at the remark. Claiming that all the films which have been banned by Nihalani, were later approved by either the High Court or the Tribunals, Pandit asked ‘what rules is he talking about?’,
To Nihalani’s remarks, Pandit told the channel that the only difference between him and the CBFC chief is that he didn’t shoot vulgar songs in his film nor did he ‘humiliate women’ in his films. He added that he does not need any certificate from Nihalani, as he has a habit of running down anybody who questions his decisions. He also said that the CBFC chief’s decisions are ‘anti-film’ industry and ‘anti-cinema’. Pandit slammed Nihalani by saying that ‘the man is full of vengeance’ as he questions the intelligence of filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap and others.
Watch the video:
Pahlaj Nihalani’s decisions have been turned down by the courts; he cannot judge the intelligence of filmmakers: Ashok Pandit, filmmaker pic.twitter.com/c1IB3pWJ7r
— News18 (@CNNnews18) May 13, 2017
Recently, in a tweet, Pandit had written that he ‘condemns the denial’ of a censor certificate to the film, describing it as an ‘act of arrogance’ on the part of Mr Nihalani. Pandit had told news agency ANI, “As a board member, I feel that is an iconic filmmaker like Prakash Jha has suffered from this dictatorial decision then it is a very sad thing for the country. I think this is shameful and tragic and not the right way of handling things.”
— Ashoke Pandit (@ashokepandit) February 24, 2017
Lipstick Under My Burkha, directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, stars Konkona Sen Sharma and Ratna Pathak Shah. The film, which has toured the festival circuit, deals with the sexual awakenings of four small town women. Meanwhile, the certification letter from the Board read: “The story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are continuous sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society (sic).”