Pahlaj Nihalani sacked as India's censor board chief


Newly appointed censor board chief Prasoon Joshi today said that he hoped to carry out his responsibilities in a constructive manner. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is likely to make an announcement on it soon.

The industry had always been demanding that Nihalani be removed while urging the government that the CBFC, which is based on legislation from the 1950s, needed to change.

According to the latest reports, Nihalani, whose tenure as CBFC chief was marred by controversy, was removed from his position on Friday.

Nihalani has been the talk of town in sparking several controversies by making unreasonable cuts and embracing recent scandals in several movies.

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Be it the entire debate over the word "intercourse" in the trailer of Imtiaz Ali's Jab Harry Met Sejal or Madhur Bhandarkar's Indu Sarkar struggling to release the issue has been many. Before he was appointed the chairperson of CBFC, Nihalani produced BJP's campaign video for the 2014 general elections, Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi.

Prasoon Joshi is a National Award-winning lyricist, and has worked on films such as Taare Zameen Par, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Neerja, among other films. It was they who asked me to take over in January 2015. The decision of the board was put under question and challenged in films like Udta Punjab, James Bond franchise -Spectre, and Lipstic Under My Burkha.

Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal, who led a panel that has made recommendations for a revamp of the Cinematograph Act, 1952, told IANS: "Prasoon Joshi is an excellent choice. I have believed that right and responsibilities are better served with constructive contribution", Joshi told PTI after his appointment. The decision to hire me was a complete surprise to me.