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Pahlaj Nihalani supports Padmavati, says Bhansali promotes ‘Indian culture’

The former CBFC chief's comments come amidst protests and agitations against the release of Padmavati from various quarters. 

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Our Correspondent

Producer and former Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Nihalani has come out in support of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati. His comments have come in the wake of protests against the film from various communities, with a few members of the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) even demanding a ban on the film for allegedly hurting sentiments of the Rajputs. 

Speaking to a news agency, Nihalani said that Bhansali has always been a promoter of Indian culture. “Bhansali is a sensible and best technician in the industry. He knows that he is bringing Indian culture in front of the world. He has always promoted Indian culture and people have liked it [sic],” he said. 

Nihalani added that Bhansali’s films have always run into controversy, but he doesn’t see anything wrong in them.

“There has been controversy in each of his films. Controversy on his projects is created by people. His movies have always done a good business after people see there is nothing wrong with it. People of every state for which he makes a film protest against it. People protested against Bajirao Mastani (2015) in Maharashtra. There were many court cases. I think how he highlighted Maratha in that film was commendable,” he said. 

Nihalani also highlighted that a Tamil film based on Padmavati titled Chittor Rani Padmini had released in 1963, which didn’t receive any protests. “Why did people not protest earlier when movies were made on Padmavati? Were the Rajputs not concerned then? These protests must stop,” he added. 

Nihlani believes that only the CBFC has the right to pass or reject a film and not any other group or the government. “I think they have not yet submitted it for approval, the process takes at least 21 days. If the film gets censor certificate, it must be right-minded. Members of censor board are capable and educated. They know which film should be passed and which should not. It is the responsibility of the censor board not the government or public,” he said. 

Starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, Padmavati is all set to be released on 1 December.