As the controversy surrounding Anurag Kashyap’s upcoming film Udta Punjab rages on, the central government has distanced itself from the Pahlaj Nihalani-headed Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which has recommended 89 cuts to the film in order to give it an 'A' certificate.
Responding to Nihalani's comment that he has "no objection" to being Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "chamcha", Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Modi didn't "need any sycophants".
“I think such comments need to be avoided," he told Indian Express at the 'Express Adda' in Mumbai. "Our pradhan mantri (PM) describes himself as pradhan sevak (prime servant) of the country, and I don’t think the pradhan sevak needs any sycophants.”
He added that the Indian government “celebrates and supports creative freedom” and has "no role in the CBFC”.
Nihalani had said yesterday that he was proud to be the "chamcha" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Of course, I am a chamcha. I have no objection in being the chamcha of the prime minister... I have never met Modi and have never made attempts to meet him either,” he told NDTV on being asking if his image as a 'Modi chamcha' was affecting his political independence as censor board chief. “As one among the 125 crore Indian citizens, if I won’t be the chamcha of Indian prime minister, should I be the Italian prime minister’s chamcha?”
Punjab is expected to have its next state assembly election early next year, where the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal government will be challenged by the Aam Aadmi Party. The drug abuse problem in Punjab is one of the biggest election issues this time.
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