A Note to filmmakers

A Note to filmmakers – can you think for the child?

Every year, at least one or two movies come out with a theme based on children – either the child is a victim or a victimiser. Would it not be appropriate to understand the legal system that safeguards children before plunging into story and script? Children who have committed offences are treated quite humanely in the juvenile justice system. They are not imprisoned as projected in the films or ill-treated. Reforms in the sector especially with the National Child Rights Commission have ensured children are heard and given all opportunities to return to mainstream life without black-marking their future. Adoption is yet another mishandled subject. Dialogues do not use positive adoption language, or convey the right message to the masses regarding true understanding of the concept.

Movies create impressions in the young which are indelible the damage – irreparable. Considering the impact of the multimedia, especially films, on the gullible masses, who try to ape their heroes in all walks of their life, responsible film making considering our child population who constitute 50 % needs supreme thoughtfulness

Children tend to discuss films even in the classroom, and many of their conversations seem to depict sex and violence as a culture that has to be nurtured. This is a dangerous trend, and responsible members of society are remaining silent as they believe that this is unchangeable. Hopes for people like me, is that an article like this may trigger atleast one conscience in the field to re-look at the way the film making industry is going.

Trying to justify the storyline, and the scenes generated as a part of the film, transferring the onus onto parents and schools to safeguard sanity and moral values for children, is like abdicating their responsibilities being a part of civil society.  Hypocrisy, servility and revenge is already being festered in children who are subjugated to an education system against their will, so can film makers make a conscious not to allow these to be further nurtured in their plots This adds to the challenge for all who care for children, and are helping them to grow unscathed in a value sliding, consumerist society. It is a nightmare for parents outsourcing parenthood and the unwilling teachers in factory schools. This population that constitutes 95 percent, is in peril already and at war with children most of the time. While a collective conscience and social pressure can restore sanity and clarity on purpose of parenthood, can there be a code of ethics for film makers, to think for the child today, the adult of tomorrow?

Pledge to portray in the media, subjects that are child friendly for impacting positively, character of the viewing child and thereby defining his/her responsible future.

CODE OF ETHICS ON PORTRAYING CHILDREN IN THE MEDIA

To desist from:

ð  Showing children begging or in orphanages, as objects of sympathy and neglect.

ð  Using children for adult jokes and negative activities, adultified dialogues, disrespectful and maltreatment of caregivers or responsible adults

ð  Justifying parental abuse and torment in any form

ð  Showing Child labour in any form as a part of the film, even as comedy

ð  Using the subject of juvenile offenders insensitively without understanding the related laws

ð  Using the subject of Child Adoption, without understanding the legal , preparation and emotional aspects

ð  Using children in scenes of abuse, vulgarity, manhandling

ð  Portraying stick wielding teachers, and corporal punishment.

ð  Justifying antisocial, aggressive, illegal or cheating acts of heroes, including copying in exams, vandalism and betrayal.

ð  Cruelty to fellow humans, animals and violence against nature in any form

understanding that all of the above are bound to have a lasting impression in a growing mind, that is forming relationships, opinions, awakening inherent values and ultimately creating or calming the chaos in the society.

The above few have significance especially if it forms the main plot of a film that runs to many hours and stays in memory more than a fleeting retribution or redressal. This is a humble attempt to save the children and thereby our world, today and tomorrow.