The war is on: Bajpayee, Mehta vs Nihalani
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.
Actor Manoj Bajpayee (L) and filmmaker Hansal Mehta
CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani