There is no second opinion that writers play a pivotal role in the success of a film. If readers may remember recently PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO star Salman Khan had credited the success of his film BAJRANI BHAIJAAN to its writer, the veteran screenwriter Vijayendra Prasad. However it is a tragedy despite writers being the backbone of a film, the Indian film industry has always given them step motherly treatment and paid measly.
However the Film Writers Association (FWA) and the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) have decided to adopt the ‘pressure tactics’ inspired by the Writers Guild of America that brought about a major revolution in the remuneration and improvement in the position of writers in Hollywood.
Under the president ship of prominent writer Kamlesh Pandey, who has written several hits like DIL, CHAALBAAZ, TEZAAB, RANG DE BASANTI etc. the federation has decided to go on an indefinite strike from October 3.
Informing about the strike Kamlesh Pandey said, “The Producers' representatives had agreed that the MoU would be signed by January 2015. But, that has not happened. After 14 months of suffering delaying tactics, FWICE was left with no choice but to declare a general strike.”
Anjum Rajabali, who has to his credits many hits films like DROHKAAL, GHULAM, THE LEGEND OF BHAGAT SINGH, RAAJNEETI etc informed that the writers are fighting for a Minimum Basic Contract (MBC), similar to the Minimum Basic Agreement enforced by the Hollywood’s Writers Guild of America.”
Enlightening about the struggle of Writers Guild of America, Anjum Rajabali said, “The Writers Guild of America began their struggle for their rights in the 40’s and after three major strikes they succeed in enforcing the Minimum Basic Agreement thorough collective support of their members. Similarly in India we are fighting and collective support of the members is most vital.”
Interestingly the federation has full support. Kamlesh Pandey said, “We have complete support all the 23 unions. Hence the strike will witness, actors, directors, music directors, every single worker of the Film & TV industry, including FWA, going on strike. All India Cine Employees Confederation is also supporting us!"
Supporting the cause are celebrated writers like Javed Akhtar, Vishal Bhardwaj, Jaideep Sahni, Sriram Raghavan, Rajat Aroraa, Shridhar Raghavan, Abbas Tyrewala, Amole Gupte, Saket Chaudhary and others.