The longish battle of words (albeit one-sided) with the Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) has ended for Pahlaj Nihalani. His film Rangeela Raja which had been ordered 20 cuts by the Examining Committee has been now passed with only three cuts by the FCAT (Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal) also known as the Tribunal.
But according to Nihalani, even those cuts are unjustified. “They have objection my using names from the Ramayan and the Mahabharat. Do they think they own these scriptures? The holy books belong to all of us. And we know how to respect them. They also feel I was disrespecting women in the film. I’ve never done that in my 40 years as a filmmaker. In our family women run the show,” spews Nihalani.
He feels the CBFC has practised a vendetta policy on him. “Since I was the CBFC chairperson and I am no longer there, they decided to teach me a lesson. The twenty cuts that they originally ordered were all unwarranted, unjustified and grossly unfair. If I was the CBFC chairperson, I wouldn’t have ordered a single cut in my film. But then, I don’t know where my successor is. I’ve never met him during my attempts to get my film out the CBFC’s clutches.”
Now that the film is cleared, Nihalani will release Rangeela Raja on January 11. “I can’t release it in December with Shah Rukh Khan’s Zero or Ranveer Singh’s Simmba. Who will pay for the heavy losses I’ve suffered because of the delay?”