An Open Letter to Censor Board Chief, Pahlaj Nihalani

An Open Letter to Censor Board Chief, Pahlaj Nihalani

Censor aficionado Pahlaj Nihalani,

Frankly speaking, I didn’t know you until your name popped up in ‘Udta Punjab’ controversy. When I saw you, everywhere on my news feed, I learned that you head the Censor Board of India. You are in such abyssal love with the word ‘censor’ that you had proposed 89 cuts in the movie beside dropping the name ‘Punjab’ from Udta.

Nihalani Ji, I completely agree with you. The word Udta must be replaced with the word ‘Doobta’; as ‘Doobta Punjab’ sounds realistic. You have alleged that the movie aims to defame Punjab but isn’t a state grieved and defamed when 2.3 lakhs of its population are addicted to drugs? Drug addiction in Punjab is four times than the world average. Pahlaj Ji, when I searched you on Wikipedia, it stated that you consider Narendra Modi as your hero. When our Prime Minister himself believes that art can’t have any restriction or limit, how can you defy the words of your hero?

Though the content of Wikipedia can always be debated upon, I learnt that you are also against movies like ‘PK’, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ and ‘Omkara’. I am also a citizen of the same country you belong to and believe me I cherished watching ‘PK’ and ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’. As a former film producer, I hope that you must have heard that ‘Cinemas are a reflection of our society’. By the way ‘Udta Punjab’ is just a mere reflection of Punjab. The people associated with the movie; state that the condition in Punjab is even more appalling. Drugs are supplied cross border while sensitive information is leaked to drug suppliers by a few selfish insiders & hirelings. Let me ask you at a human level :Aren’t you hurt and grieved by a mother’s cry when her son falls prey to substance abuse? As a former member of the film fraternity, you should have rather supported ‘Udta Punjab’.

You are against the use of ‘cuss words’ in movies. Had you forgotten this golden norm when you made movies like ‘Aag Ka Faulad’, ‘Aag Hi Aag’ and ‘Aandhi Tufan’. Your movies were such a masterpiece that the great actor Pran rebuked ‘Why didn’t I die, before seeing these sort of movies!’ I couldn’t help myself laughing when I heard the song ‘Khada Hai Khada’ starring Anil Kapoor of your movie Andaaz. I was wondering of something else while listening this. I guess if you were the censor board chief way back in 1994, you would have banned it; or are you planning to take a time machine from Hollywood and ban all your foregoing movies. Don’t do so! The world would surely be deprived to see your mind boggling creativity; when it came to producing movies.

After making some lame, weird and senseless movies for years; how and why have you turned so ‘sanskari’? Are you trying to abide by someone’s order; trying to appease someone or is this turnaround, an effect of fading age?

Nihalani Ji, contemporary global cinemas around the world has evolved. Nudity, sex, drugs and violence in cinemas is no more a taboo. Schindler’s List (1993) has all of these and is still considered one of the greatest films ever. A movie can have all these and still be great and enjoyable. The Indian youth understands this and is ready to enjoy a new movement of realistic films. The huge popularity of shows like Game of Thrones, AIB and BB Ki Vines among the youth clearly indicates this trend. Keep your illusionary culture with yourself. We are fed up of this.

Thank You!

(Note: The article was first published by the author on his personal blog.)

Venkatesh Gupta
An engineer by chance; He is pursuing Computer Science Engineering from Galgotias University, Greater Noida. He is a political enthusiast and loves travelling.