MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High court Monday dismissed petitions seeking a direction to police to register cases against two Tamil films 'Kathi' and 'Pulipaarvai', holding that it had become a fashion to oppose any movie, to be released, on the presumption that it was opposed to religion, caste, community, religion, and race.
"Court cannot pass orders on presumption, assumption, conjectures and surmises," Justice N Kirubakaran said, dismissing pleas filed by one V Ramesh.
The petitioner had sought a direction to indirectly ban exhibition of the two movies by registering cases against them on the presumption that 'Kathi' was full of anti-Tamil speeches and insulted eight crore Tamils, and 'Puliparvai' showed assassination of Master Balachandran,son of slain LTTE supremo Prabhakaran, in a very poor light.
The judge also said that if there was any law order problem by showing the movies in the theatres, police would take care of it.
"Once the film is certified for public exhibition by the statutory board, the petitioner on assumption of law and order problem cannot approach police to register the complaint," the judge said.
However, the judge condemned movies produced in the last few years which contained only "negative message through negative characters. Most of the recent movies have become the source of clues for the criminals to commit offences. The worst part of the cinema industry is portraying love in school, in which school students elope with boyfriends/lovers."
The judge wanted film producers to consider what impact such movies have on the psychology of the students of impressionable age. There was violence, obscene scenes, and portrayal of rowdies as a hero. The film industry cannot shirk its social responsibilities putting the blame on people stating that that people liked such stuff, the judge said.
The judge advised film producers to avoid controversial subjects, which might go against popular beliefs of people.
"This court does not mean that freedom of expression should be given a go-by. Once the movie is produced spending crores of money, and if it is opposed by some people at the time of release, the producer is losing money and earns the wrath of the people."
"The filmmakers should respect the sentiments of the people, and cannot say the movie is only a movie. The people also should go to the theatre to enjoy the film as a movie only, and nothing beyond that. The opposition to films like 'Kathi' only proved the intolerance to the criticism and growth of organisations with fundamental and extreme views."
Wondering how the censor board cleared films with brutal violent, obscene and murder scenes, the judge agreed with the petitioner "that things are not all right with the censor board."
"The court cannot ignore the newspaper report about the arrest of a superior censor board officer recently for taking bribes to certify a film."
"Persons who are entrusted with the onerous task (of clearing pictures) should be above board. Any deviation would affect the society," the judge said.
The judge also hoped that in future heroes of films would be role models; avoid rape scenes, obscene and violent scenes, among others. He also wanted filmmakers not to glamorise drinking and smoking, immoral and illegal ways of achieving victory.
Film songs should have moral values, patriotism, and films should give importance to ethics and family values besides the importance of relationships, the judge said.
The government should appoint people with commitment and integrity to the censor board,the judge said.