The government on Monday put in place an entirely new censor board with producer Pahlaj Nihalani as its chairperson. Mr. Nihalani, known for the 1990s blockbusters Shola aur Shabnam and Aankhen, produced “Har Ghar Modi-The Power House of India,” a fan-song for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, last year.
The new board also features Dr. Chandra Prakash Dwivedi, best known for his epic TV serial Chanakya and the critically acclaimed, national award winning Partition film Pinjar, based on Amrita Pritam’s novel of the same name.
Other board members include Gujarat Central University Vice-Chancellor Syed Abdul Bari, besides film and theatre personalities who are either BJP members or have had close association with the party.
BJP national secretary Vani Tripathy Tikoo, who has acted in films like Chalte Chalte and Dushman, and Bengali actor George Baker, who joined the BJP last year, were appointed members of the board.
Mr. Baker contested from the Howrah parliamentary constituency in last year’s general elections but lost to Prasun Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress.
Ashoke Pandit, Kashmiri activist and filmmaker, known for films like And the World Remained Silent and Sheen also found a place on the revamped censor board. Another new appointee, Ramesh Patange, is a Dalit RSS activist and author of Me, Manu anee Sangh (I, Manu, and Sangh).
Tamil actor and former AIADMK MLA S.Ve. Shekher and Telugu actor Jeevitha were also appointed members of the board for three years.
Ms Jeevitha is fighting a cheque bounce case in which she was sentenced to two years in prison and fined Rs. 25 lakh, which she paid.