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WCC Wants Hema Commission Report to Be Made Public, Kerala Minister Saji Cherian Asks, Who Will It Benefit?

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The Kerala state government had called for a meeting of various organisations in the film industry on implementing the Hema Commission report. Cultural Affairs minister Saji Cherian said that a five-member presidium has been formed to discuss with all organisations in the film industry. The members are Women’s Commission Chairperson P Sathi Devi, KSFDC Chairman Shaji N Karun, Chalachithra Academy Chairman Renjith actor Madhupal and Law secretary. The Hema Commission was formed after the 2017 actress sexual assault case to study the problems in the film industry.

The minister said that there is an existing law but we need a stronger one. He added that Justice Hema itself said the commission report should not be released. Saji Cherian said, “If the report is published, will there be any benefit to those who say that the Hema Commission report should be published? Government will decide whether to release the report or not. Govt has accepted the content of the report and we are looking at how to implement it legally. We have to work towards that and not go behind controversies.” The minister also said that the aim is to convert film industry into a secure area.

The WCC (Women in Cinema Collective) wants the Hema commission report to be published retaining confidentiality. They also said the meeting was not very satisfactory and they hope there will be more discussions.

Beena Paul, representing the WCC, said, “These recommendations are good recommendations if you think but the problem is the lack of clarity. From where do these recommendations come? From where did justice Hema make these observations? What is the data base of this? This is our question. For example, there is one recommendation of equal pay. What does she mean by this, they don’t know, we don’t know. The person who knows this is justice Hema. We need to know on what basis she made this suggestion. Does she want it in all sectors or only in some sectors. Is equal pay not happening for equal work? Are there some instances?”

Beena Paul added that the confidentiality of the women who spoke is very important for them and they are not asking to betray that. She said, “We are saying confidentiality has to be retained. Let them find ways to release it by not breaking confidentiality. There are ways to do that. We hope there are more meetings, this was not satisfactory.”

Meanwhile, AMMA (Association of Malayalam Movie Artists) said they have welcomed 80 to 90 percent of the recommendations. Actor Siddique, representing AMMA, said that Association of Malayalam Movie Artists has welcomed 80 to 90% of the suggestions. “10% we have not welcomed because of the technical difficulties to make it practical,” he said.

Actor Siddique said, “It was a good discussion and we felt the findings of the Hema Commission report was good. Representing the association AMMA we have to say that the findings has to implemented to bring a friendly atmosphere in film industry and to avoid the meaningless discussions happening outside. It was a healthy discussion and we express our thanks to the government for inviting us for this discussion. AMMA demanded clarification on some findings of Hema commission which was not clear.” He added that AMMA don’t have any issues for releasing the Hema commission report.

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