Days after being sacked as Central Board of Film Certification chairperson, Pahlaj Nihalani made a series of sensational allegations. In fact, he passed some disparaging remarks about recently appointed union information and broadcasting minister, Smriti Irani and the home ministry in an interview with Lehren TV.
“Indu Sarkar was the main issue… Smriti Irani is always an issue… Whichever ministry she has been a part of, she has made her presence felt. She told me, why are you not clearing Indu Sarkar without cuts? I said, I will go with the procedure. She wanted to show her presence in the I&B ministry and who bigger a target than me? She is a powerful minister wherever she goes,” he said.
Nihalani was appointed censor board chairperson on 19 January, 2015. He was replaced by Prasoon Joshi on 11 August. While in office, Nihalani faced a lot of controversies. He defended his tenure saying that he had cleared films despite pressure including Kabir Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
“I got a call from the home ministry to not release the film on Eid because of its title.” “I wrote three letters to the ministry asking them to see the picture according to the guidelines,” Nihalani claimed. “I have gone out of my way… then too I have been made a villain.”
Nihalani denied rumours that Lipstick Under My Burkha producer Ekta Kapoor had anything to do with his exit. But he maintained that the feminist drama benefitted from the proposed cuts.
Nihalani also said his successor, “Prasoon Joshi is a very nice man, he will have to reap the fruit of my sins and good deeds.”