Highly informed, well-placed sources from the Ministry Of Information & Broadcasting shoot down reports that the Pahlaj Nihalani, the chairperson of Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) is being given marching orders by the I&B ministry.
According to these reports, the Government’s action was prompted by the embarrassment caused by a music video that Nihalani had made extolling the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s virtues and achievements.
However according the source from the I & B Ministry, “No such move is being planned. The news is baseless.”
Nihalani says he is not perturbed by such news reports. “I know who’s planting these stories. So it doesn’t bother me. If the I & B ministry has a problem with the way I work they will inform me first and I’d be most happy to do whatever they ask me to. If I am asked to step down, I’ll do so happily. But until then I’ll do my job honestly and follow the guidelines no matter how much it irks my well-wishers.”
On being contacted Rajyavardhan Rathore, the minister for Information & Broadcasting said, “The CBFC is an autonomous body. Undoubtedly the censorship in the past was much more pronounced then it is now. However that is no justification (for censorship) and the present government believes that audiences are mature. The CBFC should function as a certification board rather than a censor board. The board must also work in unison.”
Changes in the workings of the CBFC are on the anvil, though not regarding the chairpersonship. Says Mr. Rathore, “Once the IFFI is over, the Joint Secretary (Films) of I&B ministry will reflect on the working of the board and suggest measure where functional improvement can be brought about”.