'Aligarh' Controversy Cheap Publicity Stunt By Hansal Mehta: Pahlaj Nihalani

01/02/2016 11:47 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
STR via Getty Images
Indian Bollywood film producer and present Chairperson of the Central Board, Pahlaj Nihalani attends the funeral of the late Bollywood music composer and singer Aadesh Shrivastava in Mumbai on September 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

MUMBAI -- Censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani today alleged that director of the film Aligarh, Hansal Mehta is making an issue out of the A certificate given to the movie's trailer just to garner publicity.

Aligarh, starring Rajkummar Rao and Manoj Bajpayee, is based on the real life incident of professor Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, who was fired from his job because of his alleged sexual orientation.

Mehta had criticised the censor board for the A certificate, saying he was "surprised" by the cuts they asked for in the film and termed the board "homophobic".

Nihalani, defending his decision, said the the topic of homosexuality is not for kids and teenagers to watch.

"The certification we have given to the trailer is according to the content. If the makers feel it is not justified then let them take a public opinion on this... Tell me, is the subject of homosexuality for kids? For teenagers? We have already cleared the film and now they are creating a controversy. This is a cheap publicity stunt by him (Mehta)," Nihalani said.

Mehta had alleged that by giving the trailer an A certificate the censor board has "put a stop to the promotions" as the promo will now run only with an adult rated film.

Nihalani said the Censor board is not trying to sabotage Aligarh.

"The film (Aligarh) deals with homosexuality, we have given the trailer an A certificate and it will run with other adult films. We are not trying to sabotage the film at all. It is on the makers to accept it or not. If they want to go to the revising committee or tribunal they can go so by all means. In fact, we will be happy if they get the desired results from there," he added.

Nihalani further said it is unfair to compare A certificate given to Aligarh with the promos of adult comedies Mastizaade and Kya Kool Hai Hum 3.

"The subject (of homosexuality) is such that I think he (Mehta) was scared... They are now creating a fuss over the trailer. Films cannot be compared with each other. You cannot say 'That was passed so why not this', everything has to be viewed in the context. It is absolutely unfair to do that," he added.

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