Pahlaj Nihalani, former chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification, on Monday moved the Bombay High Court against the board for suggesting around 20 cuts in his movie Rangeela Raja, ANI reported. Nihalani has written and produced the movie, which stars Govinda.
“This is nothing but personal vendetta,” Nihalani told IANS. “When I was the chairperson [of CBFC] I left a lot of people angry and upset with me. Now when my film has been submitted for censoring, they are taking out their frustrations on me. But I will not go down without a fight.”
Nihalani accused CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi of being biased. He alleged that Joshi was actor Aamir Khan’s friend and a film starring Khan was given preference over his movie. He said the cuts suggested for his movie “violate CBFC guidelines”.
“No one is surprised that Thugs of Hindostan [starring Khan] was given an all-clear censor certification out of turn, while my film Rangeela Raja which was submitted well in time 60 days ahead of release, has been slapped with multiple cuts which I am not taking. No sir,” he added.
Nihalani told IANS that the movie has no vulgar scenes or innuendo-filled dialogues. “Still I have been asked to delete a massive number of dialogues and scenes,” he said. “Movies like Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan are filled with kissing and lovemaking scenes and yet passed with a ‘UA’ [certificate].”
Nihalani, who raked up several controversies during his tenure at the Central Board of Film Certification, was sacked in August 2017. He had called Lipstick Under My Burkha a “lady-oriented” film, and had also objected to the use of the word intercourse in one of trailers of actor Shahrukh Khan’s film Jab Harry Met Sejal.
In July 2017, he ordered a ban on actors drinking and smoking on screen. He had said actors should set an example for the society as millions of people look up to them. He had issued a directive saying a movie where alcohol is essential to the plot will be given an “Adult” certificate.