Films shouldn't be victim of politics: Former censor board chief Nihalani

70-Pahlaj-Nihalani Former censor board chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani

Former censor board chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani says the film industry needs to be united in its fight to avoid becoming a victim of politics.

Expressing sympathy for filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and his movie Padmavati, Nihalani said: "Full sympathy to Sanjay Leela Bhansali and full concern for the industry because it is not just about 'Padmavati'.

"Any movie can face this kind of a trap of the politicians, politics and different parties. So, I think it is a very sad thing and the industry should combine and decide. Today it is Padmavati, tomorrow any movie can become like this, so we should not be a victim of politics."

Nihalani spoke at the unveiling of the Society magazine cover, which features him, on Wednesday.

He also blamed the "lack of unity" in the film industry for the lack of solutions when controversies as the one faced by Padmavati emerge. The movie has been in news as Hindu groups backed by the BJP have been opposing its release over alleged distortion of facts.

Nihalani, who presented the movie Julie 2 recently, also spoke on issues such as nepotism and the casting couch. He said nepotism is very much prevalent in Bollywood.

"New people are not getting in and this has been going on for a while now, because there are only 4-5 groups who are signing sons or daughters of known celebrities," he said.

On the casting couch, Nihalani said it can happen in any industry.

As far as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is concerned, Nihalani was succeeded by writer-adman Prasoon Joshi.

Asked about comparisons between them, Nihalani, who himself had a controversial tenure, said: "I am not here to compare. I did a good job, I know that. What he is going to do, you will see. I did a good job and media wrote such good praises about me. For that, I am thankful and grateful.

"Now you find out how he is working and the way I was working... How many movies have released on time and how many lapsed out the date?"

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