Is Pankaja Thakur digging her own grave?

Sep 18, 2013, 09:39 IST | Kunal M Shah

Insiders say some of Pankaja Thakur's controversial decisions could have cost her the Censor Board CEO's plum post

The Censor Board has been in the eye of the storm for a while and rumours are rife that much of it has to do with the outgoing CEO Pankaja Thakur’s whimsical ways of functioning. Perhaps, this could have had something to do with Thakur being shunted out months before her actual terms ends. And sources say though Thakur tried hard to extend her stay, September 20 has been assigned as her last date as CEO.

Pankaja Thakur

According to insiders at the Censor Board, some of the seemingly-erroneous decisions taken by Thakur could have been behind her ouster from the plum position. Says a source, “There have been various incidents due to which the credibility of the board has been under the scanner. Some decisions taken by her have been questionable and has resulted in some members being disgruntled.”

Playing favourites?
A member of the board, on conditions of anonymity, adds that the final straw came when she promoted a certain non-deserving candidate to a higher post, allegedly in order to proxy control the major moves within the organisations. The clearance of Indra Kumar’s Grand Masti had also raised a lot of eyebrows in the industry. Though critics have highlighted a plethora of double-meaning references in the film, it was cleared without too many cuts.

Odd man out
A source adds, “Also during the screening of D-Day for the board’s core committee, Pankaja allowed one of the film’s actresses, Kanika Dang, to watch the film along with them. That is absolutely not allowed.” One may recall that a few years ago, music director Vipin Reshammiya was barred from attending the screening of Tarzan The Wonder Car where his son Himesh Reshammiya worked as music director. Says another member of the board, “Similarly, films like Shuddh Desi Romance, Kai Po Che and Raanjhanaa were given ‘U/A’ certificate despite having several cuss words. Even John Abraham’s Madras Cafe wasn’t an ‘A’ movie despite being so gory.”

What’s in a name?
A birdie from the industry also reminds us how the music track Tata-Birla from Chakravyuh was cleared while another song from Enemmy that had words like Kareena, Katrina was rejected. Some of her colleagues who were summoned to a meeting early this month couldn’t help but notice that the board guidelines allow a meeting to take place only once in three months. The last meeting had been called in July. “She may have been made responsible for all of this and it’s no surprise that she was transferred,” adds an insider. Pankaja Thakur however rubbished the claims and said, “Not true.” 

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