Minorities Commission raises issue of minority portrayal in movies with CBFC

Minorities Commission raises issue of minority portrayal in movies with CBFC

India News

With the number of complaints on the portrayal of minorities in Indian cinema increasing, the National Commission for Minorities has now taken up the matter with the Central Board of Film Certification. NCM Chairperson Iqbal Singh Lalpura today said that the Commission, along with the CBFC, will resolve the issue and put in place a protocol on the portrayal of minorities in movies by December.

“We have received a number of complaints. One complaint from Tamil Nadu has said that there has been a `poor portrayal’ of Christians in the movie Rudratandav. A delegation of the Jathedar Sikhs have also lodged a complaint with us saying that Sikhs are `portrayed poorly’ in movies. We are looking into the matter,’’ said a Commission official.

Sources in the Commission point out that the complaints so far have been general and no specifics have been given in the complaints of how the portrayals of minority communities in Indian movies have been inappropriate.

“These complaints in particular, and the portrayal of minorities in general needs to be looked at and investigated. Therefore, we have directed the CBFC to furnish us with all relevant information by December. The country is divided into 9 regions under the CBFC and there is a five-member movie screening committee in each region, headed by a regional officer. It is mandated that there needs to be at least one woman on each committee. While there may be members of minority communities on these committees, there is no mandate that a member of the minority community is to be selected to these committees with the exclusive view of protecting minority rights,” the official added.

The Commission is looking at the possibility of mandating the nomination of a minority member in these movie screening committees in each region, the official further stated.

“We have asked both the CBFC and the Information and Broadcasting ministry to furnish us with details on how the selection to these committees and the censor board takes place. We will of course be discussing the matter with the ministry,” the official added.

Sources further added that once such members are inducted into screening committees, then complaints regarding minorities will be dealt with at the CBFC, without having to involve the Commission.

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