PM Narendra Modi urges filmmakers for image makeover of police in films

Prime Minster Narendra Modi in his speech at Guwahati has expressed his distress at the ridiculous portrayal of policemen in Bollywood. Speaking at a public gathering he criticized Bollywood filmmaker for creating a ‘very bad’ image of the police in the minds of the common man. According to Modi cinema plays a vital role in molding the society and has a deep impact on the minds of the common man hence it is the responsibility of filmmakers to use the medium and portray the policemen in right perceptive. 

It is good that Modi has raised a voice about the negative portal of policemen in movies. It is true Bollywood films many times portrayed policemen coming in the climax after the crime has been done or the hero has bashed up the villains. Further they are shown dishonest having nexus with criminals and anti elements. And last but not the least they are sometimes reduced to ‘fools and buffoon’ and portrayed either as pot-bellied or inefficient buffoons. 

Irked at the ridiculous portrayal of the policemen in films, Mumbai police commissioner M.N. Singh had expressed his anguish and written a letter to Indian Motion Pictures Producer’s Association, (IMPPA), asking them to moderate their censure few years ago. Informing media, he had said, “In my letter to IMPPA, I had asked them to look at Mumbai police with reality and seriousness, they can’t continue to portray the police in such a bad light”. 

Citing the example of Hrithek Roshan’s debut film, KAHO NA PYAR HAI, in which comedian Johnny Lever, who plays a policeman, is shown urinating inside a police station, Mr. Singh had raised strict objection. He demanded, “Can something like that ever happen in real life! What is the message that is being put across,” Singh demanded. 

In fact even Ex - Joint Commissioner of Mumbai (Law and Order) Sadanand Date had raised his voice against this. He said, "I am not saying filmmakers to portray us as gods. We are not gods ... but when you portray us in a way that demolishes the faith people have in us, we leave an image in his mind that this institution is not trustworthy. When you caricature police in this perspective, is it doing the police a service." 

Contrary to the remarks of Narendra Modi and Mumbai police chiefs’ opinions regarding police portrayal in films, writer Javed Akhtar, who wrote movies like SHOLAY, DEEWAAR and SHAKTI which portrayed policemen in right perspective, says that Bollywood has shown both the sides of the policemen. 

He said, "When we have praised you, we have praised you to the skies, showing police officers killing their own kin for their crimes like Dilip Kumar killing his criminal son, Amiatbh Bachan in SHAKTI. So when we criticize you, you should be able to take it too.”