Short essay on Obscenity and Violence in Films

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Obscenity and violence in commercial cinema or most of the feature films has become a burning problem of the present times which has acquired great urgency. Most of the popular films produced today in our country are subverting the country’s culture, morality and its cohesion.

By projecting fantasy world, these films encourage expectations of the viewers and kind of behaviour which is not in congruence with the prevailing cultural environment. As a result, people are led to violence and socially disruptive tendencies.

Most of the films endorse social evils like dowry, bigamy, role stereotypes, pragmatism and domination of anti social elements and so on.

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Films being powerful and popular medium having, strong reality dimension in its presentation encourages adolescents and youth in resorting to crime, violence and taking law into one’s own hands.

Many people dealing with the maintenance of law and order and the administration of criminal justice have expressed that most criminals are deeply influenced by popular feature films depicting crime and violence.

These films have contributed significantly to the growing violence against women. The styles of eve-teasing, molestation and rape in films are imitated in a similar manner.

Women are being more and more portrayed as sex objects in the films. They are used to include the element of vulgarity in films by making them to show suggestive gestures, and nudity and to entertain the audience with cheap, vulgar dances and songs. Their costumes or dresses are shown vulgarly in the name of modernity.

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Unfortunately, law is also not able to define vulgarity and obscenity in films clearly. This leaves many doors open for the film makers to exploit these elements fully to make their film popular at box office.

The guidelines by the government did forbid more than six minutes of violence in a film but hardly any film had violence to be shown for such a short period, laws of censorship are not followed strictly and the interpretation of scenes of violence and obscenity are left to the whims of the members of the censor board.

Many socially and culturally concerned citizens have tried to oppose these by filing public interest litigation but hardly anything fruitful has come out of it.

Print media has brought out the cases of violence among adolescents and youth where they were motivated to commit crime or become violent after seeing a film having lot of violence. However, no research data is available in this ‘regard’.

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Violence is being shown as entertainment. The film producers show violence in increasingly gruesome and sickening manner. Technological advancements are being used to make violent scenes more graphic.

MAG study, observed that very often the violence depicted on screen is unnecessary. These scenes should be limited and with strong justification, such as, a criminal or a wrong doer must be punished.

Films are having irrelevant and unnecessary violent scenes because of profit motive. There is no art or culture depicted through it.

Many people dealing with the maintenance of law and order and the administration of criminal justice have expressed that most criminals are deeply influenced by popular feature films depicting crime and violence.

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These films have contributed significantly to the growing violence against women. The styles of eve-teasing, molestation and rape in films are imitated in a similar manner.

The crisis with the Indian film industry today is not financial but cultural.

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