Filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani was today appointed as the new censor board chairman along with nine other members...
Filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani was on Monday appointed as the new censor board chairman along with nine other members, many of whom have a BJP connection, days after Leela Samson resigned as its chief alleging interference by the government in its matters.
Nihalani has produced films like ‘Aankhen’, ‘Talaash: The Hunt Begins…’ and ‘Shola Aur Shabnam’.
An official statement released by the Information and Broadcasting ministry here said Nihalani has been appointed CBFC chairperson in an honorary capacity for a period of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
Among those nominated as members of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) are BJP leader Vani Tripathi Tikoo, Vice Chancellor of Central University of Gujarat Professor Syed Abdul Bari, filmmakers Chandra Prakash Dwivedi and Ashoke Pandit and film-writer Mihir Bhuta.
Apart from Tikoo, there are several others with a BJP connection.
Actor George Baker contested on a BJP ticket from Howrah in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Tamil playwright S Ve Sekhar joined BJP a couple of years ago and actor-filmmaker Jeevitha also had entered BJP last year.
Another member Ramesh Patange is the editor of a Marathi weekly magazine. The board members will also have a three-year term.
Samson had quit from the board alleging interference by the government. Her resignation had triggered a war of words with I&B Minister Arun Jaitley denying allegations levelled by Samson and asserting that the NDA government maintains arm’s length distance in matters relating to Film certification.
Following Samson’s resignation, several other board members also announced their decision to quit. Jaitley dismissed charges levelled by the resigning board members and called them ‘rebels without a cause.’
“Nine resignations had earlier been received and accepted by the ministry apart from that of the Chairperson. In case we receive more resignations, we may make appointments as per the due process,” a senior official said.
As per the Cinematograph Act, the board shall consist of a chairman and not less than 12 and not more than 25 other members appointed by the central government.
Before Samson had resigned as chairperson, apart from her there were 23 other members on the board panel.