An Open letter to Censor Board Members...
Dear Censor Board Members: Unlike many states in Bharat, Telugu movies play a major role in day to day lives of people of Andhra Pradesh and Telugu speaking people everywhere else. It may not be an exaggeration to state that the Telugu film industry produces more number of films in a year as more number of Telugu speaking people watch films routinely. Irrespective of socio-economic and gender differences, Telugu people from all walks of life embrace films warmly.
As you are aware, motion films are the most effective communication media in terms of influence, specifically on present younger and future generations; many of them believe these values to be real and worth accepting them in their daily routine.
Like any other language films, Telugu movies are supposed to promote desired social and family values and present consequences of wrong social values and practices. However, there are a few disturbing trends in Telugu films which do not reflect our social and family values.
The recent disturbing trends include abuses and atrocities on children and women that are reaching a disturbing level. Most of the films include a lot of violent scenes. Social oppression in various forms are presented. Also, abuses are based on sexual references to anatomy and women are addressed with vulgar and abusive words. Obscene and street-side language has become a norm. The so called humorous scenes consist of insulting women, lead role actors physically abusing side-kicks and comedians, and making fun of and insulting parents repeatedly. Some of the dialogues indicate blackmailing of either of the parents having extra marital relations. Characters in films laughing hysterically at a rape victim is considered funny. Another disturbing trend is students insulting teachers and administrators of educational institutions. Children are made to utter senseless and vulgar dialogues. Youth consuming alcohol with friends is often shown as means for celebrating success. Disrespecting and abusing priests, astrologers, and Brahmins who promote religious practices has become a norm in many films. It is utterly disgusting to watch many films and many of them cannot be seen with family members, children, and elders in the family.
None of these trends described above including the dress code and appearance in social and family contexts do not reflect our traditional social and family values. We are proud of our traditional values irrespective of where in the world we reside, specifically in our dress code and our family values of mutual respect, love, and sacrifice. While many other societies emulate and embrace our Telugu family values form non-resident Indians, our movies are giving a wrong message.
I earnestly appeal to the censor board to uphold our traditional social norms and family values and take a stand on these issues by engaging in a meaningful conversation with the producers’ guild or the film industry at large.
Professor and Director of Project Management Programs
College of Business - Western Carolina University A campus of University of North Carolina