Prasad today ruled out banning of any programme or a television
channel despite "receiving" complaints on negative portrayal of
women on television and films.
Reiterating what he has said many times earlier that he does not
believe in control, but self-regulation, Prasad emphasised on the
need for a proper blend of creativity and censorship. "The sensibilities
of the people as a whole have to be reflected instead of the views
of only a section of society," the minister said while inaugurating
a seminar on 'Women, Cinema and Society' organized by the FICCI
Ladies Organisation here today.
Prasad felt that the quest for the identity of Indian women is
still on and this identity is still blurred and needs recognition.
How do we see women? Does Indian creativity means showing only
extra-marital relations as depicted in some soap operas on television?
These were some of the questions raised by the minister during his
speech to an audience, which can be described as a power packed
one with wives, sisters, daughters and mothers of influential Indian
corporates in their designer wears.
Pointing out that the government does not visualize a role of a
regulator for itself, Prasad said, however, the guidelines for film
censorship can be modified in view of the changed circumstances.
He said the sheer pace of technology is extraordinary and has overtaken
us and global cinema is reaching every home. Some sort of timings
for viewing films would have to be worked out, hinting at graded
viewing time on television for films.
Referring to the questions of people's 'right to see' and the 'right
to show', Prasad asked as to who would decide what people wanted
to see. The creative producers have to act responsibly and exercise
self-control to ensure that people's sensibilities are not offended
and at the same time creativity is not curbed and beauty is portrayed
with sensitivity, he said
The day-long seminar was attended by film and TV personalities,
including Jaya Bachchan, Mrinal Sen, Mahesh Bhat, Vaijayantimala,
Tanuja Chandra, Deepti Naval, Shashi Kapoor, Suhasini Maniratnam,
Shabana Azmi, Neena Gupta and representatives of various women organisations.
The queen bee of Indian soaps, Ektaa Kapoor, who had been invited
as a special guest failed to turn up, probably sensing the mood
of the organizers and the audience that would come. During pre-seminar
meetings only, some members of the FLO had come down heavily on
the soaps, especially those churned out by Balaji Telefilms, as
being regressive in nature.