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Why Debating Pahlaj Nihalani's Choices is a Big Fat Waste of Time Now

Pahlaj Nihalani is like a terrible ex, who is dying for attention, and making him the national story of the day will only fulfill his promotional agendas.

Sameeksha |

Updated:September 6, 2017, 1:23 PM IST
Why Debating Pahlaj Nihalani's Choices is a Big Fat Waste of Time Now
Image: PTI/ Official poster of Julie 2
Former CBFC Chief Pahlaj Nihalani is in the news again and this time for promoting his upcoming film Julie 2. So what's new with a producer promoting his film? Well, the fact that the film is an adult-drama and comes from the house of India's most sanskaari person - (in)famous for omitting anything and everything that threatened the moral fabric of the cultural country - is astounding.

Now, one can understand the excitement and the field-run media had on the day Nihalani announced a bold film like Julie 2 exposing the hypocrite in him. But isn't this something we all knew right from the beginning? A man famous for producing mediocre films during the most outrageous times of the 80s is back at his job, and gladly, not thrusting his ideologies on anyone anymore.

A song from the film Andaz, produced by Nihalani

Nihalani became one of the most hated names in the industry when he started cutting off kissing scenes from James Bond film, had problems with every Anurag Kashyap’s movie and more recently when he refused to certify Alankrita Srivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha, terming it too lady-oriented. Despite hailing from the time when parallel or 'artsy' cinema was at its peak, the former CBFC chief never understood art.

You can bring a horse to a river but can't force him to drink water. And the same was with Nihalani during his tenure. You could make all the sense in the world, but it would completely depend on him whether to accept the argument or ignore it but that was when he held an important post and his ideologies affected the working of the industry. Scrutinising his steps and criticising him was a duty that media and filmmakers fulfilled. However, the same cannot be applied now.

He could be one of the most uninformed person, living happily in a bubble, but the fact remains that he no longer affects anybody’s work and thus have all the right in the world to produce any kind of film he likes, without harassing anybody or breaking the law. Now, it is only up to the audience to accept or reject his work. And isn't this exactly what we all have been telling the man, ever since?

A song from the film Aankhen, produced by Nihalani

Terming him 'sansaakri gone bad', or 'unsanskari Nihalani' will just feed more to his unnecessary image, and will imply that the fraternity still holds on his opinions and that his ideologies are still haunting the working of the industry.

The news of Nihalani being sacked by the government and being replaced by Prasoon Joshi came as a fresh breath of air, leaving the entire industry in a jovial mood. While it's too soon to comment over the workings of the new CBFC chief, one can be sure that matching the bizarre ideology and working methods of his predecessor is a challenge he'll never take.

Julie 2 is an adult-drama, and by the looks of the trailer, one can easily assume how the film will fare. The film deserves an A certificate and Nihalani, like any producer, hopes that it comes in without any cuts. The man has survived the most turbulent phase of the industry and knows how to play his cards.

The media is not here to bully anyone or turn any person into a laughing stalk. Being a responsible media, the trolling should be left for ones seeking vengeance, online or otherwise. The basic ethic of the fourth pillar of democracy is to scrutinise and not mock. Now that Nihalani is just another independent producer, he deserves to do his work freely and get results accordingly. Let's not feed in more to the negativity, hatred or cyber bullying that already exists. Nihalani is like a terrible ex, who is dying for attention, and making him the national story of the day will only fulfill his promotional agendas.

It's time to let go of Mr. Nihalani’s ghost and let him return in his abyss of being a nobody, who can keep his 'sanskaars' or 'un-sanskaars' to himself. Let's rejoice his absence completely from a prominent body and hope for a more open, liberal certification board. Amen.

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| Edited by: Sameeksha
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