Prakash Jha is the (rumoured) top choice to head Censor Board
Amid speculation that Pahlaj Nihalani might be asked to quit the chairmanship of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), names of probable successors being bounced around include that of filmmaker Prakash Jha, followed by filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, and TV producer and actor Chandraprakash Dwivedi.
However, talking to us, Jha says, “I have no idea about this. I have only read it in the papers. Can’t talk about this.” Call it a coincidence — or irony — that Jha’s latest production, Lipstick under My Burkha, locked horns with the CBFC for months, as certification was refused. After a six-month battle, the film was released on July 21.
Bhandarkar, too, dismisses these reports, saying, “I’ve absolutely no clue about it, as I’m busy with film promotions. Can’t comment anything.”
Given a chance, would he consider taking the job? Bhandarkar replies, “I don’t think so. I’m an active and busy filmmaker. [Also] I’m not sure if I’d want to take the post because it would be conflict of interest, too.”
Furthermore, it’s being said that ever since actor-turned-politician Smriti Irani became the Information & Broadcasting minister, there have been talks that Nihalani might be replaced. Technically, his three-year tenure ends in January 2018.
On Tuesday, an interview did the rounds where Nihalani was quoted as saying, “So far, I’ve not heard of any such plans from the government. I’m sure my well-wishers are holding their breath... If now I am asked to leave, I’d do so just as swiftly, wishing my successor all the best.” Strangely, Nihalani took to Twitter on Tuesday night and denied giving such a quote.
PAHLAJ NIHALANI, CFBC CHAIRPERSON, HAS SAID THAT A QUOTE ATTRIBUTED TO HIM, IN WHICH HE OFFERED TO STEP DOWN IF ASKED, IS FALSE, ‘UNETHICAL & RIDICULOUS!’