According to Mr Nihalani, the stringent rules of animal welfare are keeping producers away from using animals in films
Draconian rules and laws related to the use of animals in Bollywood films has resulted in a situation where producers are afraid to use animals in their films. One has come to know through reliable sources that moves are afoot to change some of the rules of the Animal Welfare Board Of India.
The censor board's chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani is all for changes in the rules related to animal protection. "If we continue to be over-sensitive about the use of animals we'll soon stop using animals in our films completely. The rules regarding animal welfare are such that even if you have an electronic bird or a plastic snake in a scene you have to announce that they are not real animals. This is like announcing that a character who has just died on screen is not really dead."
Nihalani thinks it's time to change rules regarding the use of animals. "Otherwise we will soon stop using animals completely in our films. Given the current atmosphere of intolerance no one can make a film like Haathi MereSaathi, Naag Panchami or Teri Meherbaniyan where animals played central roles."
One hears there are serious plans to change the guidelines regarding casting of animals in films.
"No filmmaker is going to be cruel to animals. Pets at home today are like family members. Let's not get over-sensitive about animal welfare. What about filmmakers' welfare?" quips Nihalani.
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