Amol Palekar Has No Experience in Censorship: Pahlaj Nihalani

Pahlaj Nihalani lashes out at Amol Palekar’s judicial petition for censor reform.

Pahlaj Nihalani, who has been fighting a lone battle against charges of the censor board’s obsoleteness, says Amol Palekar has no idea what he’s talking about.

Pahlaj Nihalani, CBFC ChiefHe has no idea what he’s talking about. He wants the Cinematograph Act to be scrapped, that films should be given censor certificates without any cuts or without even viewing. But how can the content of a film be determined or evaluated until seen? If Sholay had been made by Hrishikesh Mukherjee instead of Ramesh Sippy, it would’ve been a different film altogether. Every film is a reflection of the director’s personal vision. It has to be certified accordingly. The kind of films that Amol Palekar worked in, hardly gave him any experience in the field of censorship. Films of Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee never needed to be censored.

Pahlaj Nihalani also rubbishes Shyam Benegal’s report of suggested censor amendments.

Also Read: Amol Palekar Files Plea for Total Revamp of Censorship Laws

Pahlaj NihalaniBasically, Mr Benegal is only saying what I’ve been saying since I came in as the chairperson of the CBFC. We need to extend the ratings system. While the certification for non-adult films has relatively more clarity in terms of classification, the adult rating gets harder to define, as the content is invariably unresponsive to a uniform code of evaluation. How does one equate the adult content of Grand Masti with the adult content of Aligarh? There is, therefore a need to create different certifications in the ‘Adult’ category. Films with clearly risque, ribald and raunchy content must be granted an ‘A++’ certification, so as to make it very clear to the audience that they are getting into a specific kind of adult content, which may not be palatable to all adults. At the same time an ‘A+’ category of certification needs to be created for films with a highly-sensitive yet significant adult content. Films that insult or ridicule any caste, creed, community, religion, culture or nationality, should not be certified at all.

Nihalani reiterates that the scraping of the Cinematograph Act would serve no purpose.

Pahlaj NihalaniThe basic guidelines are a fine measure of what goes and what doesn’t. The family value-system has not changed in our country. Unmonitored content on television and on the internet has parents deeply worried. We have Indian soaps showing women in incestuous relationships. We have internet content being created by reputed production houses, where we have a wife saying, ‘Mujhe khana banana nahin aata lekin mujhe banana khana aata hai’. Would Mr Palekar and Mr Shyam Benegal like to rate that for moviegoing audiences?

Join The Quint on WhatsApp. Type “JOIN” and send to 9910181818