Noted lyricist and adman Prasoon Joshi will replace him as the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification.
The government on Friday replaced Pahlaj Nihalani with songwriter-poet Prasoon Joshi as the censor board chief.
Joshi was appointed with immediate effect for a period of three years or until further orders, the information and broadcasting ministry said in a release.
Joshi, 45, was awarded the Padma Shri in 2015 for his contributions towards the field of arts, literature and advertising.
He had also penned the anthem for the Swachh Bharat Mission. He has received a number of awards, including the National Award for best lyrics twice.
The government also reconstituted the censor board.
Newly appointed censor board chief Prasoon Joshi said that he hoped to carry out his responsibilities in a constructive manner.
“Good intent is the best beginning. Bearing responsibility and doing my best has been my endeavour. I have believed that right and responsibilities are better served with constructive contribution,” Joshi said after his appointment.
“One hopes to make a positive difference with the guidance and support of respected minds,” he said.
The new members are Gautami Tadimalla, Narendra Kohli, Naresh Chandra Lal, Neil Herbert Nongkynrih, Vivek Agnihotri, Waman Kendre, Vidya Balan, T S Nagabharana, Ramesh Patange, Vani Tripati Tikoo, Jeevitha Rajasekhar and Mihir Bhuta.
Nihalani’s three-year tenure was to end in January next year.
“The order about Prasoon Joshi being appointed as the new chief of Central Board of Film Certification also says his tenure is for three years or till further orders. But this order came before three years (of Nilahani’s tenure ending),” Anurag Shrivastav, CEO of CBFC, said.
Since his appointment as the head of the CBFC in January 2015, Nihalani made headlines for a number of controversial moves and statements.
Recently, Nihalani was in news related to the multiple cuts in Madhur Bhandarkar’s “Indu Sarkar (read review here)” and refusal to certify “Lipstick Under My Burqa”.
Another controversy erupted when the CBFC objected to the word “intercourse” in the Shah Rukh Khan film “When Harry Met Sejal (the film review)”. Besides, the decision to beep words like “cow” and “Hindu India” in a documentary on Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen also attracted criticism.