Govt. convenes meetings of film organizations

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At a time when questions are being raised over the delay in implementing the report of the Justice Hema Commission to address issues of sexual harassment and gender inequality in the Malayalam film industry, the state government decided to organize a meeting of various film organizations to discuss its implementation. .

The meeting is to be held from 10 a.m. on May 4 at the Government Guesthouse or the Mascot Hotel in the capital.

The Department of Cultural Affairs will organize the meeting, the Minister of Cultural Affairs having to participate in the introductory session. The meeting will discuss the recommendations put forward by the commission. Responses from film bodies, including those representing actors, producers and technicians, will be consolidated, on the basis of which implementation will take place.

Although the meeting was planned earlier, it comes at a time when another high profile case of alleged sexual assault is being reported by the Malayalam film industry.

Late Tuesday evening news broke that Ernakulam South Police had registered a rape case against producer and actor Vijay Babu. A young actress has raised allegations that the producer intoxicated and sexually assaulted her.

Mr Babu, who is on the run, meanwhile appeared on a Facebook live, called himself a victim and revealed the name of the plaintiff, on whom another complaint was also filed.

The Hema Commission, set up the day after the case of the kidnapping and sexual assault of an actress, in which the actor Dileep is accused, had submitted the report to the Prime Minister on December 31, 2019. have not yet been made public and the report has not been implemented.

On Tuesday, following the case against Mr. Babu, the Women in Cinema collective, which raised their voices for the implementation of the report, said in a Facebook post that “as committees come and go, more such incidents continue to occur.”

“Crimes are perpetrated here under the guise of professional equations and professional space. The public humiliation of an accused towards a plaintiff is deplorable and punishable by law. Displaying one’s online presence without going to the court process appears to be an attempt to mock the legal system. I hope the Malayalam film industry will condemn these acts and clean up the workspace of women by keeping the perpetrators away,” the WCC statement reads.

The government has faced criticism from various quarters for the delay in implementing the report. At the closing ceremony of the 26th Kerala International Film Festival, writer T.Padmanabhan who was the chief guest said that future generations will not forgive the government if it does not take action for the enforce.

Mr. Cherian, who was present at the ceremony, said the government would take immediate steps to implement the report and develop legislation to address these issues.

In January, the government appointed a three-member panel to review and formulate an implementation plan for the commission’s report. However, the group is not known to have made any recommendations.

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