Pahlaj Nihalani is without a doubt one of the most (in)famous Chairmans of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), thanks to his uncanny ability to censor anything and everything. Including words from Sooraj Barjatya’s movies.
But, here are some things from his movies, that ideally, should have gone under the knife but surprisingly were allowed to release with no censorship:
1. The song Khada Hai from his movie, Andaz (1994). Because we really could do well away with a song that glorifies erections, innuendo style.
2. Main Maal Gaadi is yet another song from the same film and its lyrics sum up intercourse, a word Nihalani once got censored.
Yeh maal gaadi, tu dhakka lagaDhakka laga re dhakka lagaGaram ho gaya engine iskaDhakka deta ja
3. Julie 2, the film Nihalani released right after he was sacked as the CBFC Chairman, was about a woman’s experience with the casting couch in the industry, and her bad luck in love. And it included these dialogues:
Yeh film industry hai, yahan pe sirf body chalta hai.
Heroine toh tu kal ban sakti hai, sirf compromise karna seekh le.
Yes, the same man who stated during his tenure that “any scene depicting abuse of a woman will not be allowed to pass” and asked to censor words like ‘maarna’, ‘lena’ with sexual connotations, had such dialogues in the film’s trailer itself.
4. There were also the film’s posters that were a lesson in ‘Objectification of Women’, but which Nihalani thought were “clean”.
5. A scene from his last film, Rangeela Raja, released in a post #MeToo era in 2019, included the following dialogue (as shown in the trailer) that was the literal example of victim-blaming.
Yaar yeh ladkiyan itna kam kapda kyun pehenti hai. Zaruri nahi hai na har ladka shareef hove.
6. Reportedly, Rangeela Raja also referred to rape as “swadisht khana” and women as “kadak ghevar“.
7. Yet another film produced by Mr. Nihalani, Khushboo (2008) included this dialogue, which was the textbook definition of double meaning. (Oh, and this dialogue appears in the first 5 minutes of the film itself).
And big men like big… things.
And Khushboo was not even rated A, a certification Nihalani handed out to even those movies that passed with a U/A certification outside of India. Like NH10.
And while we are certainly not asking for any censorship on something as natural as consensual kissing, Nihalani had at one point asked for the kissing scenes in Spectre to be cut short. But he conveniently forgot the kissing scene between Archana Puran Singh and Sunny Deol that was part of his film Aag ka Gola (1989).
Talk about differential treatment!