India sacks film censor board chief Nihalani, appoints lyricist Prasoon Joshi

India sacks film censor board chief Nihalani, appoints lyricist Prasoon Joshi

New Delhi, August 11 ( The Government of India on Friday sacked the controversial film censor board chief, Pahlaj Nihalani, before the end of his term in January 2018, and appointed in his place the renowned lyricist and advertising honcho Prasoon Joshi.

1971 born Joshi is the CEO of McCann World group India and Chairman (Asia Pacific), a subsidiary of global marketing firm McCann Erickson. Joshi

has received the Filmfare Best Lyricist Award three times in 2007, 2008 and in 2014 for the Hindi movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. He has also received the National Film Award twice for his songs in Taare Zameen Par (2007), and Chiiagong  (2013).

He was awarded Padma Shri the Government of India in 2015, for his contributions towards the field of Arts, Literature and Advertising.

Pahlaj Nihalani

Film producer Pahlaj Nihalani’s stint as chairman of the censor board since 2015 has been very controversial. His controversial decisions included demanding multiple cuts in Madhur Bhandarkar’s film Indu Sarkar on the 1975-77 Emergency Rule and his refusal to clear Lipstick Under my Burqa  that explored female sexuality. Director Alankrita Shrivastava won her case after challenging the censor board at an appeals tribunal.

He had also objected to the word ‘intercourse’ in the recently released Shah Rukh Khan-starrer When Harry Met Sejal, and had also asked for words like “cow” and “Hindu India” in a documentary on Indian Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen to be beeped.

Nihalani was a film producer and President of the Assiciation of Pictures and TV Program Producers for 20 years.

Mr. Nihalani produced his first film in 1982 named Haathkadi. His second film was Aandhi-Toofan in 1985. His third film  Ilzaam in 1986, is notable for being actor Govinda’s debut. His film, Aag-i-Aag in 1987, also served as the debut for Chunky Pandey.  He has also produced films such as Shola aur Shabnam and Aankhen.

(The featured image at the top is that of Prasoon Joshi)