On-Screen Violence Against Women And Girls Need Statutory Warnings Too

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Smoking and drinking are not ok but hitting a woman is absolutely fine.

That’s the message you get when you watch a film in India today. 

Because when actors are shown smoking cigarettes or drinking on our screens, health advisories and statutory warnings immediately pop up in the corner alerting us against the hazards. Many of us even look out for the advisory when we notice something drinking/smoking. 

But when a person is shown terrorising a woman onscreen and hitting her while claiming to love her, we don’t see any trigger warnings.

Ironically, both these scenes played out in the recent hit film Kabir Singh. When some of us took to social media to and objected to the glorification of violence, we were dismissed saying “violence on women is normal” and “how else will a passionate man show that he loves a woman.” 

For me these justifications are bizarre and unacceptable! What kind of a world are we living in? Violence shouldn’t be celebrated and normalised. Particularly when crimes against women - be it newborn girls or elderly women - are on the rise, each crime more brutal and horrific that the last. 

I want to change this mindset and apathy for violence with my petition. I believe that having statutory warnings on screen everytime gender-based violence is portrayed is a simple but powerful way to change public perception and spread awareness. Just like smoking and drinking advisories have made us re-think about these habits. 

After all, what we see in films deeply impacts our minds. There are so many studies and surveys that confirm this. I am not asking for a ban, but an advisory!

Sign my petition asking the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to make it mandatory for scenes depicting and referencing all forms of violence against women and girls to carry disclaimers and statutory warnings on screen – both in cinema and on television. 

It would make a huge difference if: 

  • A disclaimer is displayed prominently at the bottom of the screen saying these acts of violence are strictly punishable as per our laws. 
  • Films that depict such violence also include a disclaimer. 
  • A 30-second public service ad condemning all forms of violence is broadcast before the film or during the interval.

I strongly believe that if our I&B Ministry and CBFC can take a health-based stance on smoking and drinking, they can also adopt a stand for gender justice in 21st century India.

Help me #RedrawMisogyny by signing and sharing my petition today.