Like most people, I assumed that since Pahlaj Nihalani was unceremoniously sacked last month, we wouldn’t be seeing him in the news for a while. But Pahlaj never ceases to amaze, be it with his blatant lack of fairness, professionalism and now, his sheer hypocrisy.
After asking for unreasonable cuts and refusing to certify a number of films because of their purported indecency, Nihalani will now be “presenting” a new film Julie 2, that’s been described as a “cheesy, semi-skin flick”. He’s also come on board as a distributor of the movie. The first movie, Julie, “had its share of nudity and sex scenes”, but as The Quint observes, Pahlani has been touting this movie as a cautionary tale on how aspiring Bollywood actors are “exploited” and “forced to compromise”.
Now that he isn’t the chief of the CBFC any more, Nihalani has recommended that his movie be passed with no cuts and an Adult certificate. This is, of course, the same man who wanted the word “intercourse” cut from the trailer and reel of Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma starrer Jab Harry Met Sejal. Why? Because.
Obviously, the point is not that Julie 2 (or any of the movies Nihalani has encountered and tried to mess with, like Lipstick Under my Burkha or Ka Bodyscapes) should be banned or cut. The hypocrisy of Pahlaj, however, knows no bounds, and it just makes you wonder at the arbitrariness and grave lack of objectivity through which the man seems to function. It also makes you think about all the low-profile cuts and changes that Nihalani must have asked for during his term as CBFC and that were made by the filmmakers without causing any controversies: surely, over the course of his term, he’s had numerous movies mangled, all for a value system it looks like he doesn’t even hold himself.
The hypocrisy of Pahlaj gunning for the full release of a movie he probably would have found objectionable if anyone else made it also reminds you of absurd things like this can get. Remember when the students of FTII were protesting the fact that their new government-loving chairman Gajendra Chauhan (who visited the universities a sum total of once during his tenure), had acted in movies that can only be described by everyone but him as soft-core pornography?