Four months after Bollywood actor Anupam Kher (“Bride and Prejudice,” “Bend It Like Beckham”) was fired as India’s chief censor, 18 members of the 21-person Central Board of Film Censors have followed him out the door.
No reason has been given by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for the sackings, which come midway through the board’s three-year term.
When Kher got his marching orders, media analysts said the actor was regarded by the left-leaning Congress government, which came to power last May, as a right-winger whose views did not match its own.
Like Kher, the other censors were appointees of the previous Hindu nationalist government.
In stating its official reason for removing Kher, Congress said he was too busy making movies to carry out his censorship duties. He has been replaced by actress Sharmila Tagore.
Media reports said that aside from revamping the central board, the government was also reconstituting nine regional advisory panels.