Prakash Jha is the (ru­moured) top choice to head Cen­sor Board

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Monika Rawal Kukreja monika.rawal@htlive.com

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!’

PHOTO: AB­HI­NAV SAHA/HT

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