Article Hindi

Nihalani accuses makers of Babumoshai Bandookbaaz of defaming CBFC

Nihalani claims the brouhaha with the IFTDA has been planned to bring publicity for Babumoshai Bandookbaaz in collusion with "disgruntled elements" from the CBFC.


The Central Board of Film Certification chief, Pahlaj Nihalani, has hit out at the filmmakers of Babumoshai Bandookbaaz. This comes in reply to the press conference organised by the members of Indian Film and Television Directors Association (IFTDA) against the CBFC, in support of Kushan Nandy and his film. The film was ordered as many as 48 major verbal and visual cuts by the CBFC earlier this week.

Accusing the filmmakers of defaming the CBFC, Nihalani claims the brouhaha with the IFTDA has been planned to bring publicity for Babumoshai Bandookbaaz in collusion with "disgruntled elements" from the CBFC.

"Look at the timing of their so-called revolt against the CBFC. Kushan Nandy and his producer (Kiran Shroff) had come to us for a certificate in the first week of July. We had given them an ‘A' certificate with many cuts which included graphic scenes of lovemaking and explicit references to inflamed body parts," Nihalani said, blaming the makers of film of intensionally waiting for an oportune moment before lashing out at CBFC.

They had the choice of either going to the Revising Committee or the Tribunal (Film Certification Appellate Tribunal). They chose to go straight to the Tribunal. Now when the Tribunal is viewing their film this week, they suddenly decide to create a stir around their film. And what better target than the CFBC? Where were they for month? What happened to suddenly awaken their dormant liberal impulses?" he added.

On Wednesday, the cast and crew of the film, including actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bidita Bag, were present at the press conference accompanied by some of the IFTDA members like Sudhir Mishra, Ashoke Pandit, Alankrita Shrivastava, Vikramaditya Motwane and Rahul Dholakia.

The film's makers claimed the CBFC gave its justification of 48 cuts by saying that even children watch an 'A' film. Shroff also claimed the members of CBFC passed sexist comments against her.

Nihalani says he has no problems with the criticism leveled at the CBFC, but he questions the motive and the support the protesters seem to have harnessed from within the CBFC. 

He questioned the timing of the press conference, indicating that event was nothing but a puplicity stunt. He said, "Like I said, they waited for almost a month and decided to make a noise on the eve of the film's viewing by the Tribunal about the CBFC's tyranny, injustice and non-liberal attitude. They are being supported from elements from within the CBFC who claim to be the face of liberalism in the CBFC. The meeting with the IFTDA was supposed to be attended by filmmakers. But there were individuals at the meeting who have not made a film in decades."

The CBFC chairperson says he has recommended the strongest action against those defaming the CBFC for publicity.

"You (the makers of Babumoshai Bandookbaaz) claim that members of the CBFC misbehaved with you. And you are supported in your allegation by members of the CBFC. Please prove your allegation or be ready with answers in the court," Pahlani was quoted.

Arjun Gupta, one of the CBFC board members and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party has lodged a complaint against Nihalani with Union information and boradcasting minister Smriti Irani. In a letter claiming that he was present when producer Kiran Shroff was subject to sexist remarks, Gupta has asked for immmediate removal of Nihalai and his subordinate Raju Vaidya from their respective posts on the board.