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Why Govinda and Pahlaj Nihalani have a lot to thank each other for


Govinda had starring roles in many Nihalani films in the 1980s and 1990s which became big hits. Now, Aa Gaya Hero has got a 'U/A' certificate for the kind of content for which others have had to endure drastic cuts.

Keyur Seta

Ever since Pahlaj Nihalani took over as chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), his dictates have given much grief to filmmakers. Under Nihalani, the CBFC has been strict when it comes to kissing and love-making scenes, the use of cuss words, portrayal of violence, or even when the board has felt that religious sentiments might be hurt.

In fact, to much merriment on social media, Nihalani also came up with a list of cuss words that would earn an Adults Only certificate for any film (see image below). The list includes even innocuous words like ‘saali’ and ‘kutia’. There have been many instances when filmmakers have been forced to mute such words to escape the dreaded 'A' certificate.

However, the CBFC led by Nihalani seems to have waived all such rules for Govinda’s Aa Gaya Hero. The film has been allowed the use of several words from the 'banned' list while still being awarded a 'U/A' (unrestricted with accompanying adult) certificate. In fact, words like ‘bhadwa’ and ‘gandu’ have not even been muted.

This is not all. The word 'bajana' has been allowed in a sexual context, which is also a strict no-no as per the board's cuss list. The film also has a scene of a skimpily clad woman performing sleazy dance moves near an idol of the god Shiva. The board, which has been almost like a vigilante when it comes to 'Indian culture', does not seem to have had any problem with that sequence. 

Hindi film buffs will remember that Govinda was the lead actor in many hits produced by Nihalani like Ilzaam (1986), Shola Aur Shabnam (1992), Aankhen (1993) and Raja Babu (1994). Indeed, Aa Gaya Hero gives a ‘special thanks’ credit to Nihalani right at the beginning. That, perhaps, explains the special treatment.