Catholics protest their portrayal in Bollywood films

By Hindustan Times

Catholic groups on Wednesday protested the portrayal in bad light of the clergy and community in Bollywood movies, with specific reference to Kamaal Dhamaal Malamal and Kya Super Kool Hai Hum. In a flash protest, starting from St. Peter's Church in suburban Bandra in northwest Mumbai,
over 100 representatives of five groups took out a procession to Indian Motion Picture Producers (IMPPA) and Film Makers Combine (FMC) office a few kilometres away.The protestors belonged to the Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC), Catholic Secular Forum (CSF), Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum (MCYF), Catholic Residents Organisation for Social Services (CROSS) and Catholics for Preservation of Faith (CPF).

The groups demanded that the objectionable scenes be deleted from Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal, where a priest is depicted dancing. The protestors were angered by the use of Catholic imagery in the films, and the portrayal of men in the community as a bunch of drunkards, while women were depicted as being of easy virtue. They also demanded that a representative appointed by the Archdiocese of Mumbai be nominated on the censor board to vet movies that depict the Catholic community.

They pointed out that allowing Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal without clearance from the community amounted to adding insult to injury, as the film mocks and ridicules the faith. The groups have therefore decided to file FIRs against all concerned for hurting religious sentiments. A delegation had earlier met Pankaja Thakur, CEO of the censor board, along with Fr. Reuben Tellis, the Catholic Church representative, but was disappointed by the response.

The protestors Wednesday demanded the resignation of Pankaja Thakur, and also sought the resignation of Leela Samson, chairperson of the Central Board of Film Cetification (CBFC). The groups have called for the closure of the Mumbai office of the censor board, claiming that it was no more than a lobby of the film industry, insensitive to the sentiments of the community.

Representatives of the IMPPA and FMC accepted the memorandum submitted by the protestors, assuring them of greater self-restraint. The protestors were also assured that a communication to this effect would be sent to the film fraternity, seeking that they abstain from hurting religious sentiments.

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