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Pahlaj Nihalani Has a Theory on Why Padmavati Was Finally Cleared

Pahlaj Nihalani, the former chief of the Central Board of Film Certification, has attributed the timing of the Padmavati announcement to the relative calm over the issue.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:December 30, 2017, 3:59 PM IST
Pahlaj Nihalani Has a Theory on Why Padmavati Was Finally Cleared
File photo of former Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani. (PTI)
New Delhi: The Censor Board has cleared Deepika Padukone-starrerPadmavati and will likely give it a U/A certificate early next year, capping months of suspense on whether the controversial film would ever see the light of day.

Pahlaj Nihalani, the former chief of the Central Board of Film Certification, has attributed the timing of the announcement to the relative calm over the issue. “Ab mahaul shaant hai. I think this happened now because they must have felt this was a peaceful time to release the film,” Nihalani told News18.com.

Nihalani, who had his fair share of controversies as censor board chief, said the censor board was under pressure from “all quarters”, but should not have delayed watching the movie.

“Why did it (censor board) delay watching the movie? It is a questionable thing. We go according to the queue…. There was pressure on the CBFC from all quarters. Political motives were involved behind delaying it… Hindi cinema suffers because of politics,” he said.

“On the one hand, there is so much stress to promote Hindi language. But it is the Hindi movie industry which ends up suffering; the producer of this Hindi film has incurred losses and the people have been made to wait,” Nihalani said.

Recalling his days at the helm of the CBFC, Nihalani claimed he was able to handle a similar situation concerning Salman Khan-starrer Bajrangi Bhaijan “better” than his successor, lyricist Prasoon Joshi.

“The ministry was not ready for the festive release of Bajrangi Bhaijan. They were skeptical that it would lead to law and order problem, but I did not give in. I resorted to the guidelines and watched the movie to clear it,” he said.

Taking a dig at the Karni Sena and other outfits opposing the release of Padmavati, Nihalani said, “People who are concerned with history will be never be bothered with a film based on history.”

A statement by the Central Board of film Certification said the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film will carry disclaimers, "pertinently adding one regarding not glorifying the practice of Sati and also relevant modifications in the song Ghoomar to befit the character portrayed."

“The Board of Film Certification had their examining committee meeting on the 28th of December. The decision was to give the film a UA certification along with some modifications and likely change of the film’s title to ‘Padmavat’ basis the attributed material/ creative source,” the statement said.
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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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