City police reach out to Bollywood for ‘image makeover’

Ask film fraternity for sensitive portrayal of crimes against women and positive depiction of the force.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: November 12, 2013 12:56:02 am

Even as the Mumbai Police grapples with a rising incidence of violent crime,Commissioner Satyapal Singh on Monday appealed to Bollywood for sensitive portrayal of crimes against women and positive depiction of men and women in khaki.

A select group of film personalities,however,reminded the Singh that the censor board was the authority with the final say on what can and cannot be shown in cinema. Director Mahesh Bhatt said,“The age-old allegations against filmmakers is that we glorify crime and portray women in a bad light. I believe censor is in place to address such issues. Indian cinema,if you compare it with any other cinema of standing in the world,has always been more conservative. The film fraternity does not deny there’s a need to ensure the language of cinema does not add to the problem,but how it is done will be for each filmmaker to decide individually,” he said.

A closed-door meeting was called by Singh at the RTO in Andheri (W) on Monday. Several members of the film industry attended the meeting,including Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra,Rajkumar Hirani,Farhan Akhtar,Ekta Kapoor,Meghna Gulzar,Mahesh Bhatt,Ashutosh Gowarikar,Akshay Kumar,Ajay Devgn,Javed Akhtar,Salim Khan. In an hour-long discussion,the police played audio and visual clips along with a presentation on the concerns of Mumbai police.

Khan said,“There is no denying there’s a rise in the abusive language and double meaning dialogues in cinema. But responsible filmmakers have been making sensible cinema. One should not forget that Indian censor board does a responsible job of addressing such issues.”

The police also appealed that the film and television be used to motivate the force and improve their image. The film personalities assured Singh they will shed stereotypes in dramatic situations. “The film fraternity is willing to assist the police department wherever needed. If there are songs or advertisements that need to be penned to motivate the police,we would offer to do it,” said Akhtar.

“There have been films like Singham that have portrayed police as honest and by the end of which not only has the leading man but also his entire team walked away as heroes,” Devgn said.

Both parties said this was a good beginning. Himanshu Roy,Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime),said,“We raised certain concerns and got a positive response.”

Bhatt said,“When there’s a general unease in the society,it is for the stakeholders to get together and look at how to resolve the issue. In that sense,the meeting was a good beginning. The film fraternity will ensure we’re not stereotypical in our portrayal of police,but present a balanced view. The police department assured us that they will understand our need for free speech.”

mumbai.newsline@expressindia.com

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