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Lyricist Prasoon Joshi replaces Pahlaj Nihalani as Chairperson of CBFC

Prasoon Joshi
Prasoon Joshi
The Government today appointed well-known lyricist and advertising guru Prasoon Joshi as the new Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), replacing filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani whose controversial tenure has been brought to an abrupt end.
 
An official press release said Mr. Joshi's appointment will be for a period of three years from today or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
 
In the normal course, Mr. Nihalani's three-year term would have ended on January 18, 2018.
 
"In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952) read with rule 3 of the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983, the Central Government is pleased to appoint Sh. Prasoon Joshi as Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification in an honorary capacity from 11th August, 2017 for a period of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier," the release said.
 
In a separate announcement, the Government also said it had reconstituted the CBFC Board, which will now include well-known actresses Gautami Tadimalla and Vidya Balan.
 
The other members include Hindi writer Narendra Kohli, filmmakers Naresh Chandra Lal, Vivek Agnihotri and T. S. Nagabharana, Shillong Chamber Choir conductor and pianist Neil Herbert Nongkynrih, National School of Drama Director Waman Kendre, writer and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist Ramesh Patange, former BJP secretary and actor Vani Tripathi Tikoo, actress Jeevitha Rajasekhar and Gujarati writer Mihir Bhuta.
 
Bhuta, Patange, Jeevitha and Tripathi Tikoo were members of the previous Board headed by Mr. Nihalani.
 
The members will have a term of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier, the release added.
 
Mr. Nihalani had run into clashes with several filmmakers who accused him of seeking "irrational" cuts in their movies and of moral policing. Some of his colleagues were also unhappy with his style of functioning and they said he was running the CBFC on the basis of his personal whims and fancies.
 
Among the controversies were his refusal to certify "Lipstick Under My Burqa", his objection to the word "intercourse" in the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer "When Harry Met Sejal" and the decision to bleep out words like "cow" and "Hindu India" in a documentary on renowned economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.
 
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In another controversial move, the CBFC had ordered as many as 89 cuts in the film "Udta Punjab" but the High Court restored all the scenes, except one.
 
Mr. Joshi is a lyricist, screenwriter, poet and marketer. He is the winner of the National Award twice and the Filmfare Award thrice for his lyrics for Hindi films. He was honoured by the Government with the Padma Shri in 2015.
 
Mr. Joshi began writing at an early age and took up advertising as a career, starting out with Ogilvy & Mather in Delhi before moving to Mumbai. In 2002, he joined McCann-Erickson as executive vice-president and national creative director. By 2006, he was regional creative director for South and South East Asia. In December 2006 he was promoted to executive chairman for McCann Worldgroup India and regional creative director for Asia Pacific.
 
He made his debut as a film lyricist with Rajkumar Santoshi's Lajja, followed by Yash Chopra's Hum Tum, Fanaa, Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par, Black and Delhi 6. With Rang De Basanti (2006), he also became a dialogue writer. He had also written the script for the award-winning 2014 film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
 
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