When Anurag Basu told the press that he couldn’t be present at a cancer awareness event in Parel (Mumbai) on Wednesday because he was “stuck” at the censor board office, little did he know that his convenient lie uttered to slip out of a social engagement would land him in an embarrassing mess.
It now comes to light that Mr Basu was nowhere near the censor board office on Wednesday. Angry annoyed and bewildered the censor board chief Pahlaj Nihlani says, “Why do filmmakers think they can continue to make a scapegoat out of the CBFC whenever they are in a sticky situation? So far our name was used to cover up for delays in release. Now we have a reputed filmmaker using the CBFC’s name as an excuse for his absence at an event, and that too something as serious and sensitive as cancer.”
Pahlaj Nihalani makes mincemeat of Basu’s claims. “I am sorry to say he’s lying. Anurag Basu has not come to us at all on Wednesday or any time recently. It is true that his trailer of Jagga Jasoos was being discussed at the CBFC. But that was on Tuesday, a day before the event which he did not attend. And even on Tuesday Basu was not present, his representatives were. Next time I suggest he use some other excuse for his non-appearance. The CBFC won’t be a scapegoat for the film fraternity’s failings.”
Significantly Anurag Basu is a cancer survivor. It is surprising to note his seeming lack of empathy for a cause that ought to be very close to his heart.