Imtiaz Ali has got himself into a face-off with the Censor Board, thanks to his arbitrary remarks against Pahlaj Nihalani on Thursday at the press screening of Shor Aur Shuruaat, an omnibus of 7 short films helmed by protégées of 7 eminent contemporary filmmakers including Imtiaz Ali’s protégée.
At a press meet, Imtiaz Ali not only bragged about showing an uncensored version of the film, he also made uncharitable remarks about the Chairperson of the Censor Board Pahlaj Nihalani questioning his authority, power and method of functioning.
Nihalani says he has no problem with the personal remarks. “By now, I am used to being attacked by filmmakers who have no other way of getting noticed except to hit out at the CBFC. Mr. Imtiaz Ali has no reason to complain. None of his films including the new one that he is trying so hard to get noticed has ever had any censor problem. So what is he fighting for? Or maybe he is just playing the role of the rebel without a cause all the time?”
What offends Nihalani very strongly is the claim that the press was shown an uncensored version of Shor Aur Shuruaat prior to the public release of the censored version.
Asks Nihalani, “Does Imtiaz Ali follow the law of the land? Doesn’t he know it is illegal and unconstitutional to screen the uncensored version of a film unless it is at a private screening or in a non-public domain?”
Taking a dig at Ali’s statement at the press screening on whether Nihalani knows what he is doing, Nihalani quips, “I know what I am doing. I’ve been making movies from before Mr. Ali was born. But does he know what he is doing?”
Nihalani says he has no more to say on his so-called double-standards. “I am done with explaining why the kisses in Befikre remained. I’ve gone to great lengths to explain how we shortened as many kisses as we could without hampering the flow of the story. Initially, I had kept the deleted kisses a secret so as to not risk the film’s market value. But, in this industry, being considerate is equated with being prejudiced, and corrupt. I owe no one any explanation about the cuts except to the I & B ministry.”