"I am not tough on anything, otherwise all films would have been rejected. Under my chairmanship, hardly any movie goes into the revising committee."
Film producer Pahlaj Nihalani has been in spotlight for all wrong reasons since he took over as the chairman of Central Board of Film Certification earlier this year. He has become a subject of public ridicule for his unapologetic and defiance stance over how things are unfolding at the censor board.
During an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Nihalani snapped at the interviewer saying “This means you want to do sex in your house with your door open. And show to people the way you are doing sex,” when he was asked about recent controversy over censoring new James Bond movie, Spectre.
Read: Spectre review
The film fraternity has expressed its displeasure over the way the censor baord has been functioning under Nihalani's leadership, an open admirer of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He faces the charges of curtailing freedom of artistic expression by tough censorship of films. The Censor Board chief, however, differs claiming he is more liberal than the previous leadership.
“I am not tough on anything, otherwise all films would have been rejected. Under my chairmanship, hardly any movie goes into the revising committee. We clear movies at the first step itself. We are more liberal than the previous board,” he told the newspaper.
The internet users took the censor board to the task for asking the James Bond makers to reduce the length of kissing scenes. The #SanskariJamesBond hashtag went viral with more and more internet users lashing out against the mindset of censor board.
Nihalani first came into the spotlight, after he dashed off his infamous list of banned cuss words, advising filmmakers to refrain from using them in their films. Following a wide-spread criticism, however, he subsequently withdrew his list.
Nihalani has also blamed another censor board member for the cuss word list fiasco. He accused Ashoke Pandit of “spreading wrong information and causing panic in the industry.”
His latest interview defending his way of functioning has also sparked off debate on Twitter.
Ashoke Pandit, meanwhile, did not keep quite after he was being referred in a bad light in Nihalani's interview.
“I don't need #PahalajNihalani's certificate of honesty & truthfulness. We still see the most vulgar songs produced by him,” Pandit said in a tweet.
“He accusing me of forgery is as good as him calling #FTII students #AntiNationals. Should answer questions posed to him regarding #CBFC,” he added.
There were several others reaction to Nihalani's interview on Twitter too.
“Imagine Pahlaj Nihalani having sex and the door is open!😜 Apne time mein Andaaz Aur is time mein YE Andaaz?,” tweeted, Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor.
“Now Pahlaj Nihalani has nothing to worry about. Even if he's fired as Censor Board Chief, he'll immediately be made Bhakt Association Chief,” posted filmmaker Shirish Kunder.
“I always thought I was the only old tharki Sindhi comedian around but then Pahlaj Nihalani walks into the party. Damn !,” tweeted stand-up comedian Atul Khatri.
“How many Pahlaj Nihalanis does it take to light a bulb? - None, Nihalanis want kissing scenes to be done in dark,” said a tweet from Rahul Raj (@bhak_sala).