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Need For An Indian Film Industry Bare Act

Mr. Himansu Rai spearheaded the growth of Indian cinema with his silent films in 1934 Bombay Talkies. From then to now the industry has grown by many-folds and is now an empire. Indian film industry now comprises of Mumbai film industry, South India film industry and North Indian film industry.

However all that glitters is not gold. The film industry has been funded by underworld and politicians, all using it as a way to launder their “black money”. The link between mafia and the film industry is deep and as old as the Indian film industry itself. It is so because of the government originally rendered the film industry ineligible for legitimate forms of financing. Therefore many underworld names have been associated with the industry.

Underworld names like Haji Mastan, Dawood Ibrahim, Abu Salem and others have been said to be the real bosses of the industry. Like many other members of the industry, one of the veterans Mahesh Bhatt has openly said:
There’s hardly anybody in the film industry who has not been contacted by the mafia.”

Many in the industry have been threatened by the underworld and many have been extorted. Now the latest expose of drugs being peddled in the industry to cater to the bigwigs in the industry through small time artists and drug peddlers, is a cause for concern for the youth of India.

This situation of the industry is in line with need for the government to regulate it for public safety and welfare. Government regulates many industries for many reasons like human health, financial safety, need for structure, regulation and so on. However there has been no legal response to the ubiquitous underworld involvement that is so evidently stitched into the industry.

Thus with all that is and has transpired in the Indian Film industry I have come to a conclusion that there needs to be a structure in the industry that's provided in an Act specifically drafted for it.

To have a bill drafted and proposed to the Parliament of India for structuring the Film Industry. The industry is very porous and often has criminals, con men and the likes getting easily absorbed in it. This adds and feeds to its unethical practices and immoral decisions.

The main Acts regulating the Indian film industry are Copyright Act 1957, Cinematograph Act 1952 and Trade Marks Act 1999. Other than these the industry borrows at the moment from other Bare Acts and does not have an Act for structuring and regulating itself. There is nothing in place which can strictly lay down limitations on who can work and the ethical manner of carrying out work. Whereas the proposed act will ensure it is under supervision and provides consequences of not abiding to these limitations.

For example, it borrows from the Indian Contracts Act 1872 often but doesn't have constant control or limitations on some practices like arm twisting contracts, breach of contracts without compensation or setting aside of contracts that have been induced by undue influence. Such practices have been normalized in the said industry in the course of their dealings since there is always a play of undue influence and since no one is closely monitoring the workings within the industry.

Quite often because of not having the money or knowledge to fight back for their rights these victims suffer constantly and furthermore feed the egos of the perpetrators of power and undue influence in the film industry.

Hence in my personal opinion this needs to be looked into. There needs to be a team that drafts an appropriate legislation that entails to all the workings in the industries that often go wrong and are hidden under the rug.

I therefore in my opinion believe that a well drafted bill addressing the above issues must be placed in the Parliament of India, for its enactment as an Act for the Film Industry. This would be the first step to clearing the mess that the present film industry is in. Thus providing something for them to abide to going forward. Thereby protecting the citizens of India from foul play.

My suggestion for the bill entails the following points that I believe will address the errors the industry faces.
  1. Agency to be formed by the Government of India.
  2. Its officers will be assigned by the Government of India and will be given policing powers in the industry on a regular basis.
  3. Like any other corporation or industry the film industry of India needs to be structured so as to limit the chances of foul play.
  4. The agency will regulate the entire entertainment industry of India; including film, series, advertisements from Mumbai and other regional backgrounds.
  5. The agency will cause no interference in creative aspirations.
  6. It will have offices in every state to regulate the workings of every state’s entertainment industry.
  7. Three branches to be under the agency for Films, Series and Advertisements
  8. It will be funded by the government, whereas the government will charge a flat fee to every production's application.
  9. No movie, series or advertisement be released unless it has been through the agency.
  10. Anyone entering the industry needs to be vetted by the agency - background check, Aadhar card, police records etc.
  11. If there is a criminal background then they will not be allowed in the industry. Criminal backgrounds can be further defined to elaborate what all is inclusive
  12. Sources of finances would need to be vetted and given account of.
  13. Channels will not be allowed to have undue influence over the producer or director in the creation and production of series.
  14. Contracts pursuant to all projects to be submitted at the agency office for records with follow up being permissible when necessary.
  15. Documentation to be archived only when the movie, series or advertisements are completed or terminated.
  16. Complaints regarding any issue need to be taken up at the agency’s grievances office under the branch.
  17. The other already established unions and official associations would have to be under the supervision of this proposed agency.
  18. Red Tapism will not be allowed or tolerated and will lead to termination of office. To assure duty is carried out successfully the officers will be directly answerable to the government of India.
  19. The whistleblowers can reach with discretion to the head of the agency and/or the media and/or the police and/or government and/or the judiciary.
  20. The agency will help facilitate and provide where needed for the financially incapable members of the industry with Mediation, Arbitration and Litigation.
These steps could bring in structure and compliance. Making it difficult for bad elements to exist in an industry thats supposed to create healthy entertainment for the society rather than infiltrate the society with an unhealthy effect on it.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Chandini Prakash
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: AP110400897251-14-0421

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