As the debate on the use of the word….ahem…. ‘intercourse’ in the trailer of Imtiaz Ali’s forthcoming Jab Harry Met Sejal rages on, the CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani makes it very clear he has nothing against love-making and sex talk in our films.
Says Mr Nihalani sarcastically, “Contrary to the perception created by women wearing lipsticks under their burqas, we do not sit at the CBFC office with scissors waiting to pounce on any film with the word ‘sex’ in it. We are aware that our society is rapidly evolving and changing and that there are many kinds of relationships happening now which were taboo earlier. We respect those changes and try to accommodate them.”
So does this display of liberalism mean the CBFC would let Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma have their ….ummm…intercourse in Imtiaz Ali’s film?
“Firstly there is nothing sexual about the word ‘intercourse’ per se. What we are looking at is a situation where a superstar with a family image in real and reel life is discussing the possibilities of having casual sex with his co-star. Shah Rukh Khan talking like that is not the same as any other actor doing the same,” opines the CBFC chief.
Nihalani takes a dig at Shah Rukh Khan’s comment about not being old enough to vote. “If Shah Rukh is too young to vote the CBFC is too old not to care about the voter. If as Shah Rukh Khan claims he is not 18 and ineligible to vote then he should not be talking about sex on screen.”
What about Nihalani’s challenge to a news channel to get 1 lakh people to endorse the word ‘intercourse’ in Anushka Sharma’s conversation with Shah Rukh in Jab Harry Met Sejal? Says the CBFC chairperson, “We’re still waiting for the relevant channel (Mirror Now) to gather one lakh votes in favour of Shah Rukh discussing ‘intercourse’. So far they haven’t even crossed 50,000. It is strange that Shah Rukh Khan has millions of followers on Twitter but not one lakh of them have come forward to say they approve of his ‘intercourse’ talk. That means something.”
And what, according to Mr Nihalani could it mean? “That Shah Rukh’s fans are kids and families. Neither parents nor children want to hear him talk about sex in his films.”