"Sharmila Tagore Passed Omkara Because Of Her Son Saif Ali Khan, People Accepted Bribes," Pahlaj Nihalani Exposes Darkest Period Of Censor Board
Pahlaj Nihalani In An Interview Exposed The Dark Times At The Censor Board (Photo Credit – IMDb/Instagram)

Pahlaj Nihalani’s tenure as the chief of the Censor Board Of Film Certification has been quite controversial. The former filmmaker was accused of being too rigid and going on a hysterical drive to omit important scenes and dialogues from films, calling them vulgar or unnecessary.

The former CBFC chief received a lot of flak when he objected to the word Intercourse in Shah Rukh Khan‘s Jab Harry Met Sejal trailer. While he objected to the word, he refused to pass the trailer. 

In fact, when there was a public intervention, and Bollywood celebs started dissing and slyly digging into Pahlaj Nihalani’s decision, he even asked for 1 lakh public votes for Jab Harry Met Sejal’s trailer’s Censor Board clearance.

Now, in a recent interview with Siddharth Kannan, Pahlaj Nihalani opened up about the dark era of the Censor Board, and he had to go on a cleanliness drive to make the institution what it genuinely stands for. He did not hesitate to confirm that films like Omkara passed from the Censor because Sharmila Tagore was heading it. 

The ex-CBFC chief confessed, “During Sharmila Tagore‘s tenure, the film Omkara was passed because her son Saif Ali Khan was in it. People on the board accepted bribes to pass certain films without cuts. They went against the guidelines; I just made sure the rules were followed.”

Pahalaj Nihalani further said, “I never allowed myself to be pressured by the government. I passed films on merit alone. They didn’t want the title’ Udta Punjab to be passed, and I threatened to resign… I don’t have any regrets. I’ve done my work with honesty. To this day, people appreciate my work in CBFC.”

He even talked about the Harry Met Sejal controversy and revealed that it was Shah Rukh Khan who told him that he had no problem with the word ‘Intercourse’ being edited from the trailer, and since the film was not vulgar, they passed the trailer after omitting the word. 

For the unversed, Pahalaj Nihalani served as the chief of the Censor Board from 2015 – 17, and his tenure hogged the limelight after he ordered 100 cuts in Udta Punjab!

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