Not letting go of his untimely exit from Central Board of Film certification (CBFC), Pahlaj Nihalani in a series of allegations has accused Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Smriti Irani; Home Ministry and Bajrangi Bhaijan the core reasons that led to his termination from office.
Speaking to Lehren TV, Nihalani said that differences with Smriti Irani led to his ouster as the minister wanted to satisfy her “ego” after he did not clear ‘Indu Sarkaar’ as the matter was in the Tribunal.
“Indu Sarkaar was the main issue… Smriti Irani is always an issue…Whichever Ministry she has been a part of she has always made her presence felt,” said Nihalani.
“She has dominated whichever ministry she was assigned. Definitely, since I was the man in the media, it would not take much time in taking me down. He further said, “She told me, why are you not clearing Indu Sarkar without cuts? I said I will go with the procedure since the movie was with the Tribunal.”
He said, Smriti Irani’s ego was not stoked and she wanted to show her presence in the I&B Ministry and who could be bigger a target than me in the I&B Ministry?” The reason for sacking him, he says is because he cleared ‘Indu Sarkar’ without cuts.
He also added that during the time when ‘Bajrangi Bhaijan’ was with the CBFC for clearance the Home Ministry dragged him into the issue of Love Jihaad.
He received a letter from the Home Ministry which stated that the movie ‘Bajrangi Bhaijan’ should not be released at the time of Eid. The title of the movie could promote ‘Love Jihaad’ and cause social unrest in the country, however, when he reviewed the movie he did not find any objectionable stance in the movie which could lead to such a situation.
The letter, he said, was sent to him in advance and he had repeatedly sent written replies that the picture is well within the guidelines of CBFC and should be cleared.
Explaining his stand on going against the alleged objection letter and clearing ‘Bajrangi Bhaijan’ he said he heard the script of the film and it was clear that the concept of Love Jihaad and ‘Bajrangi Bhaijan’ were two different things. He said, “…being from the film industry, I know too much in and out and that’s the only saving grace for the CBFC.”
Blaming actor Salman Khan and director Kabeer Khan, he accused them of not supporting him in spite of him taking a stand and going out of way to clear the misunderstanding between the media and the Home Ministry; he is being victimised.
He maintained that he supported the film industry but the industry accuses him to be a “villain” of the industry, of Salman Khan and Kabeer Khan.
He was also of the view that even after supporting ‘Bajrangi Bhaijan’ and clearing the movie without any cuts he is still being blamed and comments are being made against him by the director of the movie.