Bol­ly­wood hails ad­man-lyri­cist Pra­soon Joshi’s ap­point­ment as CBFC chair­man, say­ing that he un­der­stands mod­ern In­dian film­mak­ing

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Monika Rawal Kukreja

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


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