The government 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,
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
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.
Rajni Kothari, preeminent political theorist and
activist, who in the 1960s developed the idea of the ‘Congress system’ to
explain the party’s umbrella character that accommodated multiple interests
within its fold, is no more. He was in his mid-80s and ailing for several
Numerous books and commentaries that combined empirical
research and theoretical originality make Mr. Kothari possibly the most
influential thinker on the development of the Indian political system.
Being an academic did not restrain him from donning an
activist cap, and Mr. Kothari was an active participant in politics, most
remarkably through his association with the People’s Union for Civil
He had an enduring influence on the study of Indian
politics with his many books, especially, his magnum opus, ‘Politics in
India’, and also ‘Caste in Indian Politics, and Rethinking Development: In
Search of Humane Alternatives’.
Mr. Kothari founded the Centre for the Study of
Developing Society in 1963 in Delhi, which grew as a premier institute,
where a galaxy of India’s social scientists was based. He was also chairman
of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, and in various capacities,
mentored several generations of Indian social scientists.