PRASOON IN, PAHLAJ OUT: ALL HAPPY
Bollywood hails adman-lyricist Prasoon Joshi’s appointment as CBFC chairman, saying that he understands modern Indian filmmaking
After much speculation, the decision has been taken and is being lauded by the film fraternity. Pahlaj Nihalani, who served the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) as its chairman since January 2015, has been removed, and noted lyricist and adman Prasoon Joshi has taken the new role w.e.f August 11, 2017.
“Bearing responsibility and doing my best has been my endeavour... One hopes to make a positive difference with the guidance and support of respected minds,” Joshi said in a statement.
Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal, who led a committee and submitted a report last year on CBFC revamp, tells us, “[A change] was about time, and Prasoon is hugely talented, heading one of the best ad agencies in India. He knows the media extremely well, so they couldn’t have chosen anyone better than him.” Many believe that the change of guard at the CBFC, informally called the Censor Board, was accelerated after the Benegal Committee report. Benegal says that the ministry is yet to respond to his report, but he’s happy with the current decision.
Other fresh appointments in the CBFC are actor Vidya Balan and filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, who are now board members. While the move by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, headed by Smriti Irani, might appear sudden, a change had been anticipated. Nihalani has had several run-ins with filmmakers over scene cuts and certification. He still had a few months left of his term as chairman.
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, who had been rumoured to be one of the frontrunners for the post in case Nihalani was ousted, says, “Prasoon understands cinematic values and the liberty that filmmakers take.”
Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha says, “Pahlajji got into the chair too late and got out of it too late as well. He should’ve served the CBFC in his early thirties.” He adds, “Prasoon is a progressive man who’s in touch with today’s India.”
Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia wishes the new chairman all the luck, and hopes “his judgment favours art and he remains an artist”.
However, filmmaker Ruchi Narain believes that it’s the system that’s flawed. “Prasoon is a very forward-thinking person, but the ultimate victory will be when we start certifying films and stop censoring them,” she says.
I look forward to this new phase where our cinema will be allowed to reflect the realities, sensibilities and complexities of the society we’re living in VIDYA BALAN, ACTOR
Just amend the Cinematograph Act — guidelines of 1952 can’t have a creative impact on 2017 cinema VANI TRIPATHI TIKOO, CBFC BOARD MEMBER