#India – Tracing the ban on skirt and its length #Vaw #moralpolicing


TNN May 25, 2013,
(Tracing the ban on skirt…)

The skirt and its length has been an issue more often than not in our country. From celebs likeSania Mirza and Katrina Kaif to schoolgirls across states, many have gotten into trouble over this piece of clothing. And it isn’t only the desi moral police tying itself up in knots over the issue – it seems to unite people across countries.

Bans in schools across India

Haryana
In Rohtak in March, a right wing educational institution’s management prohibited girls from Classes VIII to XII from wearing skirts, citing “security reasons.” At least five Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools, run by the Kurukshetra-based Hindu Shiksha Samiti (HSS), would implement the dress code from the current academic session, they said. One of the schools’ principals said that the decision had been taken in consultation with parents who endorsed those reasons, and that they’d received complaints about some girls wearing short skirts.

Jharkhand
The DAV group of schools called for a ban on skirts this year as part of the uniform, as they think tunics or short skirts ‘invite unwanted attention’. The director of the DAV group has said that they have taken the step to make children aware of our culture and tradition. Female students from Class VIII onwards would be required to wear only salwar-kameez with a bandi (jacket). “We’ve done this to ensure girls dress decently to school and follow a discipline,” said LR Saini, director of the DAV group.

Rajasthan
In December 2012, BJP legislator Banwari Lal Singhal suggested a ban on skirts as the school uniform for girls. Singhal wrote a letter to Rajasthan chief secretary CK Mathew, demanding that skirts be replaced by trousers to keep female students away from “men’s lustful gazes.”

Manipur
In Manipur last year, six student bodies, which included the All Manipur Students Union, Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur and Manipur Students Federation, issued a diktat to prohibit school and college students from wearing clothes above the knee. In 2007, the outlawed People’s United Liberation Front (PULF), an Islamic outfit active in the state, banned Muslim schoolgirls and college students from wearing frocks and skirts. The Manipuri rebel group Kanglei Yawol Kunna Lup, (KYKL), in 2001, asked girls to wear the ankle-length traditional phaneks instead of western wear. The reason for enforcing the wearing of the phanek was to ban “indecent dresses” and also for moral and traditional reasons. KYKL even warned that women of the state who do not wear the traditional phaneks could even ‘face death penalty’!

Mizoram
After being pressurised by a student body in the state, all schools banned short skirts and tight pants in 2011. The ban was imposed to ‘promote decency and discipline’ among the students. If caught violating the ban for the first time, a fine of `300 was to be charged. If the rule was violated again, the fine would increase to `500. And if the students were found repeating it, then they would be expelled from the school.

Uttar Pradesh
In 2012 in Ghaziabad district, the panchayat in a Jat-dominated region demanded that girls should wear salwar-kurta from the sixth standard. The president of Jat Mahasabha was reported as saying, “The girls will wear salwar-kurta from sixth standard onwards. We will speak to the managements of the schools and will make sure the order is implemented strictly.” They didn’t mention the reason for it but we assume it, again, has something to do with ‘decency’. The panchayat even warned that ‘severe punishment’ would be handed out if the diktat wasn’t followed.

Celebs in trouble

Sania Mirza – In 2005, a group of Muslim clerics issued a fatwa demanding that the tennis player should cover herself more on the field. They said that her outfits were a negative influence on young girls. Their grouse was that her skirts and T-shirts had slogans like ‘Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History’ and ‘I’m Cute, No Shit’, which were ‘un-Islamic’. Even though Sania had to give in to the clerics’ demands at that time, later, she appeared at the 2007 French Open in a skirt. “How I dress is a very personal thing, so give me a break. I’m just trying to have some fun. If I have something to say I can speak, can’t I? I don’t have to speak through what I wear,” she had said.

 

I&B Ministry calls for truce between filmmakers and the CBFC #censorship #bollywood


VICKEY LALWANI, Mumbai MirrorMar 29, 2013, 11.54AM IST
(A still from Dabangg )

I&B Ministry calls for truce between filmmakers and the CBFC over censorship issues

At a time when Hindi films have come under criticism for disrespectful portrayal of women, and Censor Board decisions are increasingly being viewed as arbitrary, the Information & Broadcasting Ministry has stepped in to broker peace between the warring parties – the producers and the Board.

The bone of contention being the Cinematograph Act 1952 that the film industry thinks is outdated. The I&B Ministry has called for a meeting with all parties concerned between April 3 and April 5, though the venue hasn’t been decided yet. Representing the film industry will be Farhan Akhtar, Ramesh Sippy, President of the Producers’ Guild Mukesh Bhatt, President of the Association of Motion Pictures and TV Programme Producers (AMTPP) Sajid Nadiadwala and Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association Chief TP Agarwal.

Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Chief Leela Samson and CBFC CEO Pankaja Thakur will represent the censors. Also present will be senior members from the special panel that was instituted under the chairmanship of judicial expert Mukul Mudgal to review the functioning of the Censor Board.

The meeting will set the pace for the necessary amendments to the Cinematograph Act 1952, after taking into consideration suggestions by all concerned. Special song and dance numbers, foul language, and scenes portraying actors and actresses smoking and drinking are likely to be discussed during the meet.

Agarwal confirmed the news and said: “The very fact that the meeting spans three days indicates we are going to have a very long discussion. I am very optimistic about the outcome.” Said Mukesh Bhatt: “Today, there is a lot of ambiguity about what will be cut and what will go through. As things stand, there are no guidelines.”

Meanwhile, a filmmaker on the condition of anonymity, said censors seem to have turned a bit too prudish. “Recently, Leela Samson assured there is a wrong impression within the film industry that the Censor Board has adopted a rule to certify all special numbers with an ‘A’ (adults only) certificate. Despite the assurance, filmmakers are extremely cagey. The meeting on April 3 is very good news for the films being made,” the source said.

On the subject of special numbers – particularly Fevicol Se from Dabangg 2 and Sheila Ki Jawaani from Tees Maar Khan – having faced a lot of flak, a leading producer (on request of anonymity), said: “It isn’t now that special numbers have come into existence. One can think of many actresses in the past who have done such numbers. Is it that the censors turned a blind eye to them simply because they weren’t lead actresses? Moreover, cuss words are chopped in one film while they are retained in another film. What are the rules? Who draws the line, and where?”

Writer-director Rensil D’Silva said: “Too much money rides on movies. If there is clarity, there will be no jolts at the time we submit our films to the censors.”

When contacted, I&B Minister Manish Tewari said: “We already have a panel headed by judicial expert Mukul Mudgal to look into certain issues which the film industry has. But if they still have some issues, we are ready to walk the extra mile.

 

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