Pahlaj Nihalani: Holier Than Thou?


pahlaj creativer

Pahlaj Nihalani, Chief of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), has been the talk of the town ever since he decided on cutting short a kissing scene in the recently released James Bond movie –Spectre. He was strongly condemned on both social and traditional media. Owing to the backlash, Nihalani, lashed out at critics saying that the changes were within limit and that he has only followed the rules.

In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Pahlaj Nihalani, in response to the duration of the cut kissing scene in Spectre, said, “This means you want to do sex in your house with your door open. And show to people the way you are doing sex.”

Pahlaj Nihalini, who has made rather controversial movies and songs himself, has now conveniently taken over the job of preserving and protecting Indian culture.  He says that the cuts were in “national interest” and doesn’t mind being called conservative. He feels that there is too much obscenity and nudity in the industry and online that must be controlled.

The fact that he has produced the crassest kind of cinema, complete with scantily clad women gyrating suggestively to the most lewd lyrics you could possibly imagine, is irony at its best.

Here are some of the song lyrics in his movies-

khada hai, khada hai, khada hai!”

“roz karenge hum ku ku”

“main maal gaadi tu dhakka laga” (later changed to ye maal gaadi tu dhakka laga).

khet gayil baba bazaar gayil ma, akeli hu ghar ma tu aaja balma” where the heroine, Shilpa Shirodkar sneakily lifts her ghagra (skirt) to reveal her thigh.


Double standards anyone?  Where was his consciousness towards Indian culture then? Did he not realize that it could be detrimental to our culture and ethics? Or did he have a sudden epiphany and is now showing his sanctimonious side to the world?

This isn’t the first that the Indian Censor Board has made headlines due to their rather conservative  and draconian views and over policing of content that usually stifles creative expression.  It has become the norm to snip out scenes and songs as per their whims and fancies that often leads to a film losing its essence!

Tannishtha Chatterjee of the acclaimed film, Angry Indian Goddessses, says “The film that fetched me so much acclaim abroad and the film that has been cut by the censors are two different entities. Now my role is almost nothing.”

The Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has objected strongly to what they see as profane references to Hindu goddesses.

They feel that it is their moral obligation to decide the maturity of the Indian audience, which isn’t true at all. For once we would like to decide for ourselves what we find objectionable and as long as there is a certificate that restricts persons under 18 from viewing anything that might not be fit for them, we as adults can manage for ourselves.  So really thanks, but no thanks!

Shireen Azizi

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