Pahlaj Nihalani says ‘Aligarh’ using cheap publicity stunts

'Aligarh' poster
‘Aligarh’ poster

Censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani has alleged ‘Aligarh’ director, Hansal Mehta for using cheap publicity stunts ahead of the film’s release.

Nihalani says that Mehta is making an issue out of the ‘A’ certificate, which was given to the film’s trailer. ‘Aligarh’ is based on a real-life incident of a professor, which was fired from his job because of his alleged sexual orientation.

Deccan Chronicle reports that Mehta had criticised the censor board, saying he was “surprised” by the cuts and branded the board “homophobic”.

Defending his decision, Nihalani told PTI, “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 added, “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 also said that it was unfair to compare ‘Aligarh’ to trailers of films like ‘Mastizaade’ and ‘Kya Kool Hain Hum 3’. He said, “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.”

“‘Mastizaade’ had 350 cuts, ‘Kya Kool Hai Hum 3’ had 200 cuts before they were passed. In fact, we have given an A-Certificate to ‘Aligarh’, but have not cut any visual scenes. There are only a few verbal cuts. Rest everything has been passed. So how can they say we are sabotaging the film because it’s about homosexuality? This is sending out a wrong message. We have cleared his film,” Nihalani added.

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