Pahalaj Nihalani new chief of censor board


Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad

After the mass resignation of the chairperson and nine members of the Central Board of Film Certification, the government today reconstituted the Board with Pahalaj Nihalani as its chairperson. All will have three year term as per the government notification.

The members are ,Mihir Bhuta ,Prof. Syed Abdul Bari , Ramesh Patange , George Baker ,Dr. Chandra Prakash Dwivedi , Jeevitha , Ms. Vani Tripathi Tikoo , S. Ve Shekhar and Ashoke Pandit.

Nine Censor Board members followed chief Leela Samson’s footsteps and quit on Saturday to protest what they described as the “cavalier and dismissive manner” in which the government treated the board.

However, I&B Minister Arun Jaitley described the MSG episode and resignation of Leela Samson and other members as rebel without cause and dubbed it as UPA members’ politics. Samson resigned from the board amid a controversy over clearance of controversial film ‘MSG: The Messenger of God’ featuring Dera Saccha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. She did not specifically refer to the clearance to the film but cited alleged “interference, coercion and corruption of panel members and officers of the organisation who are appointed by the ministry” as reasons.

The board members said in a resignation letter to the information and broadcasting ministry they wanted to step down because the government was not allowing them any autonomy. The members also alleged that the ministry had filled the advisory panel with “people with questionable credentials” without heeding the board’s recommendations.

“It is our firm position that given the cavalier and dismissive manner in which the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) is treated by the government, it is impossible to perform this duty with even a modicum of efficacy or autonomy,” they said in the letter.

Those who quit include film show host Rajeev Masand, theatre personality MK Raina, JNU professor Ira Bhaskar, actor Arundhati Nag and film-maker Shaji Karun. The Censor Board has 23 members.

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