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Pahlaj Nihalani gets the sack, Prasoon Joshi is new Censor Board chief

Nihalani had courted controversy by imposing norms seen as irrational by the film industry

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Newsmaker: Pahlaj Nihalani

Noted adman and lyricist is set to take over as the new Chairman of the Censor Board, following Pahlaj Nihalani's termination of Friday. 

Nihalani, who took over as the Chairman of the (CBFC) on 19 January 2015, had become a controversial figure who inmposed strict guidelines that were often seen as unreasonable by the film industry. Accusations against him include regarding as his personal fiefdom, demanding irrational cuts in movies and engaging in moral policing. A case in point was his call for a complete ban on smoking and drinking scenes on the silver screen

Soon after his appointment he floated a new set of guidelines that barred the use of some curse words even in 'A' category films. He also laid down that depiction of violence against women would be discouraged and came down heavily on content that he perceived could hurt religious sentiments.

More recently, he invited a great deal of flak for objections to Madhur Bhandarkar's movie, Indu Sarkar, and to Lipstick Under My Burqa, a films that  explores female sexuality, and which he refused to certify for release as it was "lady-oriented". Nihalani had claimed sexual scenes, abusive words, and phone sex shown in the movie could hurt the sentiments of the Muslims.

The film finally went through after director successfully challenged the board at an appeals tribunal.

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