Pahlaj Nihalani: 'Superstars must not be shown drinking or smoking on screen'
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief seems to have developed this immense knack of being mired in controversies with his opinions, statements and actions.
After giving numerous filmmakers — Alankrita Shrivastava (Lipstick Under My Burkha, 2017), Madhur Bhandarkar (Indu Sarkar, 2017), Abhishek Chaubey (Udta Punjab, 2016) or much recently, Imtiaz Ali (Jab Harry Met Sejal, 2017) — a tough time in getting certification of their films, now Nihalani has expressed his desire to forbid drinking and smoking in films completely, even though we have a disclaimer ticker in the scenes.
According to a recent report in The Quint, the CBFC supremo said, "Merely putting a ticker warning at some remote corner of the screen whenever there is smoking or drinking shown, is not enough anymore. We feel the superstars who are followed by millions and who set an example in societal behaviour must not be shown drinking or smoking on screen unless the provocation for doing so is really strong."
Nihalani further added that those films where scenes with alcohol consumption are essential, would have to be certified 'A'.
Not only in commercial films, Nihalani has also expressed issues with films like the documentary film on Amartya Sen, The Argumentative Indian, where he demanded omission of words like "cow" and "Gujarat" from the film. He even went on to call the film "illegal" just going by the trailer.