Pahlaj Nihalani removed as censor board chief, lyricist Prasoon Joshi to replace him

Pankaj Nihalani has been heading the censor board since January 2015
Pahlaj Nihalani removed as censor board chief, lyricist Prasoon Joshi to replace him
(L) Pahlaj Nihalani, (R) Prasoon Joshi

New Delhi

Pahlaj Nihalani has been removed as chief of the CentralBoard of Film Certification (CBFC) and replaced by noted lyricist PrasoonJoshi, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri said on Friday.

Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, who has been appointed a member of the censor board, spoke about the structural changes in the government-appointed body which oversees all movies before they are released in India.

Agnihotri said Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani was looking at the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) with a fresh perspective. “With Prasoon Joshi heading it, it was tempting for me to come on board.” Joshi is known for his contribution to films like Black, Taare Zameen Par, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Rang De Basanti, Delhi-6 and Neerja and for designing successful ad campaigns. Honoured with Padma Shri, the National Award winner penned the theme song for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and other campaigns.

Nihalani, who has been a film producer and describes himself on Twitter as “true Indian”, took over as CBFC chairperson in 2015 from danseuse Leela Samson, a year after Modi became the Prime Minister.

But he began running into skirmishes with film producers over cuts, beeps and disclaimers he insisted on, which the industry often found unfair.

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