Noted Bollywood lyricist-screenwriter and ad guru Prasoon Joshi will replace Pahlaj Nihalani as CBFC chairperson.
The government on Friday evening issued a notification announcing the appointment of Prasoon Joshi. The notification read: “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952) read with rule 3 of the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983, the Central Government is pleased to appoint Sh. Prasoon Joshi as Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification in an honorary capacity from 11th August 2017 for a period of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier. The Notification supersedes the earlier notification F No. M-11020/1/2014-DO (FC) dated 19th January 2015.”
Joining Prasoon Joshi on the Censor Board will be Vidya Balan, Gautami Tadimalla, Narendra Kohli, Naresh Chandra, Neil Herbert, Vivek Agnihotri, TS Nagabharana, Ramesh Patange, Vani Tripathi, Jeevitha Rajasekhar and Mihir Bhuta among others.
Welcoming the move, Madhur Bhandarkar said, “The upcoming chief has come from the advertising background. He is a lyricist also. I applaud Smirti Irani and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore for the change. I know only as much as you know. I heard that Nihalani has been asked to step down. I hope for the best.”
Simran director Hansal Mehta hoped for a better certification process. He said, “It is good that a credible person has taken over the position but we should concentrate on making the certification process stronger and get that into effect sooner.”
Pahlaj Nihalani’s tenure as CBFC chief was riddled with controversies. Movies like Aligarh, Udta Punjab, Unfreedom, Ka Bodyscape, Lipstick Under My Burkha, Indu Sarkar and Babumoshai Bandookbaaz among others had to face the brunt of CBFC during Nihalani’s stewardship.
Pahlaj Nihalani began his career as a small-time distributor at the age of 14. He started his own distribution company in 1975 and branched into producing films. Shola Aur Shabnam, Dil Tera Deewana, Aankhen and Andaaz are some of the blockbusters he has produced. Before he was appointed chairperson of CBFC, Nihalani produced BJP’s campaign video for the 2014 general elections, Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi.