CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani in trouble for his video praising PM Modi


Censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani’s music video praising Prime Minister might cost him his chair as the Information and Broadcast Ministry is considering to sack Nihalani for causing a major embarrassment to the government.

The chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification had made seven-minute-long video titled ‘Mera Desh Mahaan’ as a tribute to the Prime Minister which was released on YouTube on November 10 and was shown in theatres along with Salman Khan’s blockbuster ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’.

Apparantly, Nahalini has not obtained clearance of the I&B ministry before releasing the video. If something is being prepared on the Prime Minister, the government should be informed about it, according to a ministry official.

The video came under fire for borrowing foreign visuals like Tour De France, International Space Shuttle, Moscow's International Business Centre and the Dubai Expressway to showcase India’s development and prosperity under Prime Minister Modi. It also compared Modi with Mahatma Gandhi.

An official announcement regarding ousting of Nihalani has not been made yet, but a Midday reported quoted an I&B ministry official as saying, “It is a matter of time before an official announcement will be made but the decision to replace him has already been taken.”

Nihalani has been embroiled in controversies ever since his appointment as the CBFC chairperson in January this year. Apart from drawing flak for his prudish views, he made his political leaning clear by calling Prime minister Modi his “action hero” and saying that he is a fan Modi. It is said that his candidature as the CBFC chief was pushed by the Rashtra Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), which was also behind the controversial appointment of TV actor Gahendra Chauhan as the Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).

The students of FTII had protested the politically motivated appointment of Chauhan, after which Nihalani had said that he was planning to make a documentary evidence to expose FTII students as “anti-nationals”.

He had banned films like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, and ‘Battle for Benaras’, which tried to capture the contest between PM Modi and Arvind Kejriwal in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Benaras.

I&B Minister of State Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is known to have expressed his displeasure on Nihalani’s activities and his questionable opinions. He was also recently trolled on social media for cutting the length of kisses in the latest James Bond film Spectre. He further courted controversy by saying that he hadn’t even watched the film.