Catholic groups protested the portrayal in bad light of the clergy and community in Bollywood movies, on Wednesday, with specific reference to Kamaal Dhamaal Malamal and Kya Super Kool Hai Hum.
In a flash protest, starting from St Peter’s Church in 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 of a dancing priest be deleted from Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal. The protestors were angered by the portrayal of men in the community as a bunch of drunkards and women as being of easy virtue.
They also demanded the nomination of a representative — appointed by the Archdiocese of Mumbai — 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. Hence, the protestors demanded the resignation of Pankaja Thakur and Leela Samson, chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
The groups have, furthermore, 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 and abstaining from hurting religious sentiments in future.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2012.