Shatrughan Sinha jumps to the defence of CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani

Veteran actor and BJP politician says the censor board chief was merely following the guidelines.

Mayur Lookhar

For the past week or so, it has been the Hindi film industry versus Pahlaj Nihalani. Almost. Battered on all fronts, the filmmaker turned chief censor would take heart from the support lent to him by his friend, actor and Bharatiya Janata Party politician Shatrughan Sinha.

"I think Mr Nihalani is doing his job dutifully and beautifully," 'Shotgun' Sinha told television reporters. "He hasn't taken any action of his own will, but he is merely following the guidelines laid down by the board. You may not like the message, but please don't shoot the messenger."

Sinha's words would probably soothe Nihalani a little, particularly after the board he heads got an earful from the Bombay high court, which cleared Udta Punjab with just one cut and ordered that the film be issued an A certificate within 48 hours.

Sinha is known to be his own man, with his views, expressed openly, at times even offending his own party. The veteran actor had even backed Salman Khan in the wake of his controversial comments on Yakub Memon, who was hanged to death at Nagpur jail in July last year in connection with the Bombay serial bomb blasts of March 12, 1993.