‘Pressure From Ministry’: Pathaan Victim Of Controversy, Says Ex-CBFC Chairman Pahlaj Nihalani

Mumbai: Shah Rukh and Deepika Padukone’s upcoming film ‘Pathaan’ has been in the eye of a storm ever since the song ‘Besharam Rang’ was released on December 12.

Some BJP leaders and right-wing organisations have taken offence to Deepika’s saffron attire and found some parts objectionable.

There have been calls to boycott the film unless the objectionable parts are changed.

On Thursday, even the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) directed the makers of ‘Pathaan’ to implement ‘changes’ in the film, including its songs.

Reacting to CBFC’s decision, its former chairman Pahlaj Nihalani said ‘Pathaan’ is a ‘victim of controversy’, and that the board must have taken the call under pressure from the ministry.

“There’s no guideline that states a colour can be cut. You can suggest changes if there’s vulgarity or obscenity. But if they ask for cuts because of colour, it would be a wrong proceeding. There could be pressure from the ministry… Pathaan is a victim of controversy. The CBFC must have got pressurised from the ministry to delete this portion of saffron colour. Otherwise, they had cleared the costume and the shot in the trailer,” Nihalani told ETimes.

“It is the committee’s right to decide what cuts and modifications are needed. They will have to see the revised version. Prasoon Joshi might have given a statement but he has no right to watch Pathaan with the examining committee. He must have been pressured by the ministry to see the film carefully because of saffron colour.”

Nihalani pointed out that Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’ (2018) and Salman Khan’s ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ (2015) had also faced boycott calls before their release. Nihalani, who was CBFC chairman from 2015 to 2017, reminded that the board had got a letter from the ministry ahead of the films’ release because of the law and order situation.

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