The war is on: Ba­j­payee, Me­hta vs Ni­ha­lani

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Yashika Mathur yashika.mathur@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Ac­tor Manoj Ba­j­payee and film­maker Hansal Me­hta have hit back at Cen­tral Board of Film Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Ni­ha­lani for his com­ments about them.

In an in­ter­view, Ni­ha­lani said that Ba­j­payee’s ca­reer has still not taken off, and Me­hta and Anurag Kashyap’s films open and close to empty theatres. The re­ac­tion came af­ter Ba­j­payee called him ‘spent force’ in an in­ter­view.

Re­act­ing to the com­ment, Ba­j­payee re­torts: “I’m proud of my fil­mog­ra­phy and I’ve jus­ti­fied each mo­ment in this in­dus­try with­out stoop­ing to cheap entertainment. He (Ni­ha­lani) should not call jour­nal­ists to take out his venom, with­out con­firm­ing it with the con­cerned per­son. What he has re­acted to wasn’t said by me. I was mis­quoted. I don’t talk in this lan­guage about a se­nior citizen. Be­sides, if I feel that CBFC’s at­ti­tude to­wards any film is not right, I’ll def­i­nitely voice my opin­ion.”

Ba­j­payee is in no mood to clar­ify things with Ni­ha­lani, “Why should I clar­ify? He should have con­firmed it with me. He has had a cor­dial re­la­tion­ship with me for years. He has called me an ex­am­ple in this in­dus­try, and now sud­denly, I am some­thing else for him,” adds Ba­j­payee.

Hansal Me­hta ques­tions Ni­ha­lani’s po­si­tion in the cen­sor board. “He is al­ways dis­parag­ing. For him, artis­tic work is box of­fice col­lec­tion. What has up­set me the most is what he said about Manoj. Artists like Manoj are na­tional trea­sure. By re­duc­ing to this level, Mr Ni­ha­lani is only dis­play­ing his own in­tel­lect,” says Me­hta, who worked with Ba­j­payee in the crit­i­cally ac­claimed film, Ali­garh (2015).

“This is not new. Some other CBFC chiefs have been equally dis­parag­ing. Un­for­tu­nately, the gov­ern­ment does not do any­thing about it,” adds Me­hta.

PHOTO: PRAMOD THAKUR/HT PHOTO: AALOK SONI/HT

Ac­tor Manoj Ba­j­payee (L) and film­maker Hansal Me­hta

CBFC chief Pahlaj Ni­ha­lani

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