The Mumbai Police plan to convene a meeting of producers and directors of Hindi films to appeal to them not to make vulgar and cheap movies.
Police commissioner Satyapal Singh told dna that the vulgar depiction of women and the use of cheap and loaded dialogues were worrisome trends. He said the police were worried since these films have a direct impact on crimes against women.
Noted film personality Mahesh Bhatt said the film industry would wholeheartedly welcome this move.
“We are not dictating anything to the film industry. We are only appealing to it to keep our cultural norms in mind while making films. Nobody should dub this as moral policing. As a law enforcers, it is our duty to ensure that nothing encourages crimes against women,” Singh said.
The immediate trigger for this initiative is Indra Kumar’s Grand Masti, which stars, among others, Riteish Deshmukh, son of late chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.
Singh said he got complaints about the movie’s vulgar dialogues. He said he wanted to watch it himself but couldn’t do so because of paucity of time. Hence, he sent Vishwas Nagre-Patil, additional commissioner (western region) to watch the movie and report to him. Nagre-Patil confirmed that the film had objectionable content.
Singh said as the film is certified by the censor board there was little he could do about it. Activists had even moved the SC but it directed the petitioners to approach the ministry of information and broadcasting. It is learnt that Union minister for information and broadcasting Manish Tiwari pleaded helplessness in the matter as the censor board had cleared the film.
Pratibha Naithani, president of NGO Hamari Sanskriti said her organisation, along with other like-minded bodies, will call on Singh on Friday and ask him to ban the film “as it was derogatory to women right from the first frame”.
“I saw the film and am shocked the censor board cleared it.
We appealed to board chairperson Leela Samson who blamed the scrutiny committee members only to later retract her statement,” she said.
Dr Avisha Kulkarni, an activist, called for a close inquiry into the censor board’s functioning. “How do such films get approved in the first place?” she asked. Singh’s term is expected to end this month-end. So, most likely the meeting with Bollywood personalities will happen before that.
Mahesh Bhatt said, “Many in the industry are worried about Grand Masti. The fact that it has become a hit with actors who had no box-office potential shows people are watching such a film. It speaks volumes about the current trend in our society. Deep introspection must be done, not only by the film industry but also by all other sections.”