The Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has reportedly decided to sack film producer Pahlaj Nihalani from the post of chairperson of the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) for releasing a sycophantic video paying obeisance to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Without the consent of the (I&B) Ministry, Nihalani directed cinema theatres across the country to play a 6.43 minutes long film: Mera Desh Hai Mahaan, which sang paens of praise to Modi, during the intermission of Salman Khan starrer 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo', Mid-Day reported.
In the video, four to five men are seen singing the song, dedicated by Nihalani in praise of Modi and his initiatives, such as Make in India. A group of children is also seen swaying to the tune of 'Saare jahaan se Achha', when they suddenly shout 'Modi Kaka' and point towards Modi who is meditating on thepeak of a mountain covered with snow. He disappears when the children shout 'Modi Kaka' a second time.
The video has caused embarrassment for the BJP, which has decided to reportedly replace Nihalani. However, the government has not made any official statement as yet.
"It is a matter of time before an official announcement will be made but the decision to replace him has already been taken," a senior ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
Nihalani was slammed on Twitter for the video, which contained visuals that has no relevance with India. The visuals include NASA's Atlantis and Discovery space shuttles, International Space Station, Moscow International Business Centre, Tour de France and Dubai Expressway.
I&B Minister Arun Jaitley and Minister of State for I&B Rajyavardhan Rathore, is reported to have told Nihalani about the Ministry's decision to sack him.
The film producer had earlier faced a backlash on social media for cutting down Daniel Craig's kissing scenes by 50 per cent in the film 'Spectre'. He later admitted on TV that he took the decision without even watching the film.