Former chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and film producer Pahlaj Nihalani was reportedly admitted to Nanavati hospital in Mumbai for the past 28 days and was released on Saturday, according to The Times of India.
The whole affair was kept private, Nihalani told the publication that only experienced actor Shatrughan Sinha visited him to ask about his well-being. “Shatru visited me at the hospital recently,” Nihalani said, “we had kept it mostly private.”
Nihalani also revealed how his ordeal began. He said: “Suddenly, one night at about 3 am, I felt a little uncomfortable and vomited a lot of blood. I was advised to be hospitalized. It was a case of chronic food poisoning, but it was an emergency – and initially I was kept in the ICU for about 5-6 days.”
He added: “I thought I would go home in 2/3 days after being discharged from the ICU. But my temperature didn’t drop for the longest time, I got a fever and especially in the evenings a bad stomachache, the diagnosis continued to expand and that became a concern.”
Nihalani was the boss of the CBFC from 2015 to 2017. His tenure became controversial because of what many believed to be impulsive and arbitrary cuts and shortening of intimate and violent scenes from the films. In particular, the shortening of the kissing scenes in the James Bond film Specter caused him anger and ridicule on social media.
He imposed several restrictions on Shahid Kapoor starrer Udta Punjab, a film about drug abuse among Punjabi youth. He had reportedly proposed 89 cuts to the creators. CBFC lost a case at the Bombay Supreme Court and the film was allowed to be released with only one cut.
In 2017, the union government replaced Nihalani with lyricist Prasoon Joshi as CBFC chief.