A few months ago, the junta as well as some in the Indian film industry rejoiced as CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani was replaced with Prasoon Joshi. Before the change, there was a huge public backlash for Nihalani who had enforced rules and changes for a couple of films lined up for censor approval.
People had thought of Nihalani as a rigid mole of the current Narendra Modi government. But with Padmavati name having to undergo modifications and a name change to Padmaavat, it is obvious that nothing has changed.
This takes us back to what Bollywood’s only PR guru Dale Bhagwagar had said the week Prasoon Joshi took over from Pahlaj Nihalani. “CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) rules are the same. Pahlaj Nihalani was just following them. Since he took over at a time when the government changed with a nationalistic flavour, it all got noticed more,” Dale had cited.
“Even earlier, there has been constant issues filmmakers have had with Censor Board chiefs. Pahlaj Nihalani neither made the rules, nor changed them. Even Prasoon Joshi can’t change them on his own.”
“But yes, since we are living in a world where perception is reality, with a subdued demeanour, he may sure give out a perception of being more considerate or lenient. But again, it will be a perception. Rules will be the same. And whether they ought to change or not, is a whole different debate altogether,” the Bollywood publicist had added. Looking back, the public relations expert was bang on with his predictions.