Humiliating portrayal of a person who stammers in Golmal 3
Central Board of Film Certification
The Indian Stammering Association
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This movie has been cleared for screening in India by the Censor Board. The movie features a character with a stammer (played by Shreyas Talpade), and clearly portrays the character as an object of ridicule.
The movie repeatedly makes fun of people who stammer, and by doing so, humiliates them, and portrays a disability in a negative light, in the name of cheap humor. It promotes the stereotype that persons who stammer are mentally deficient and are incompetent. This thoughtless depiction would adversely impact the millions of Indians with a speech impediment, and would only increase bullying of stammerers in schools, propagate negative perceptions of stammerers during interviews and at the workplace, and would make ours a society where it is acceptable to poke fun of people who stammer.
A significant number of Indians stammer- the number is believed to be between 3-5 crores, by conservative estimates.
While the causes of stammering are debated, it is not something that a stammerer can control. Stammering leads to significant difficulties throughout a persons life- it can affect education, employment, career growth, relationships and marriage. Movies such as Golmaal-3 callously ignore the continuous and non-stop suffering faced by people who stammer, and depict such suffering as something to be laughed at.
Apart from being deeply insensitive and offensive to people with a speech defect, this movie deprives stammers of their right to live a peaceful and DIGNIFIED life. Movie makers and the media have a particular responsibility to ensure that they do not adversely impact people's ability to live with dignity.
The Censor Board would be aware that a film should not be certified if it is against decency. The objective of certifying a film is to ensure that it remains responsible and sensitive to the values and standards of society. On both these criteria, Golmaal-3 clearly fails the objectives of film certification.
The Censor Board is also required to ensure the following:
(i) scenes showing abuse or ridicule of physically and mentally handicapped persons are not shown.
(ii) visuals or words contemptuous of racial, religious or other groups are not presented.
The Censor Board would doubtless appreciate that the intention of framing the first point above is to ensure that people with handicaps are not ridiculed. It is evident that stammering is such a handicap, and hence the Censor Board must consider this while reviewing its certification of the film.
In light of the above, we request the Censor board to rescind the certificate issued to the movie "Golmaal-3" at the earliest.
Dr Satyendra Srivastava (Coordinator)
for The Indian Stammering Association