Kerala

Hema panel talks tough on ‘unofficial bans’

The K. Hema commission report being submitted to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan by the panel members on December 31, 2019.

The K. Hema commission report being submitted to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan by the panel members on December 31, 2019.

The Hema Committee, constituted by the State government to address issues faced by women in the Malayalam film industry, has suggested that a tribunal should be constituted and empowered to bar those in the industry who impose unofficial bans on others, denying them work. The report of the committee, which was submitted to the State government on December 31, 2019, is yet to be made public.

Incidentally, several actors who voiced the issues plaguing the Malayalam film industry, had complained that they were unofficially banned from movies and denied professional opportunities.

On the issue of unofficial ban, the panel suggested that the tribunal, upon finding that a person or persons have banned a particular person from working in cinema , can ban/bar the guilty from working in cinema.

The tribunal must have powers to slap fine on the guilty and suggest compensation for the aggrieved parties. The guilty can be sent to civil prison for non-payment of fine or compensation, if it cannot be realised, according to the report.

All segments of industry

The tribunal shall be headed by a retired district judge, who has a minimum experience of five years on the trial side. It will have powers to address the issues faced by different segments of the industry, including actors, directors, producers, and script writers. Cinematographers, hair stylists, make-up artists and junior artists will be covered by the tribunal, according to the recommendations of the panel, which had actor Sarada and former civil service officer K.B. Valsalakumari as its members. The tribunal, at the first instance, shall make efforts to solve the problems between the parties and can involve an expert of its choice or take advice or aid from experts.

Besides the sensitive issue of ‘casting couch,’ issues relating to non-payment of agreed remuneration, non-execution of contracts, use of drugs and alcohol also plague the sector. “The only solution to these issues is to enact a statute covering the industry and constitute a tribunal,” Ms. Hema said.


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Printable version | May 24, 2022 8:12:52 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hema-panel-talks-tough-on-unofficial-bans/article38314380.ece