A controversy rose after reports quoted Minister Rajeev as saying that the WCC did not want the Hema Committee report to be published.

WCC members wearing black sit for a press conerenceWCC file picture
Flix Controversy Monday, May 02, 2022 - 15:03

Shortly after Kerala's Minister for Industries and Law P Rajeev stated in an interaction with a media house that the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) did not want the Hema Committee report published, the latter put out a statement, attaching the letter they had written to the minister on January 21, 2022. The WCC, had for long expressed its displeasure over the government delay in implementing t he recommendations made by the Justice Hema Committee, which was constituted to study the problems of women in the Malayalam film industry. WCC members had also met Minister Rajeev in January this year to express their concern.

In the letter that they have now released, the WCC writes, "It is worrying that even after two years there has been no action on the report by Justice Hema Commission formed by the Pinarayi government, which had intervened in a commendable manner to study the plight of women in the film sector." The Hema Committee report was submitted to the government in December 2019.

The letter said the commission report completed in two years was made by spending Rs 1.5  crore and the recommendations it made need to be placed before the public to enable discussions around it and implement steps that are feasible. Rajeev made the statement while taking part in Idea Exchange programme of the Indian Express. 

In their post the WCC reiterated their stand: “When we observed that in spite of so much money, time and effort spent on the report there was no action, WCC approached various government agencies. We raised our voices and concerns regarding the silence from the side of the government. It is not enough to produce recommendations without the context of the findings. The case studies (removing the names and other details of the survivors) which have led to these recommendations must be known. Setting up committees and discussions on the recommendations is not enough. The public needs to know the basis on which these recommendations have been made. It is also important that we know if the Hema Committee has endorsed these recommendations.” 

We will be participating in the meeting called by the Hon’ble Minister of Culture on May 4 with the hope and belief that change is imperative, the post said.

Watch: Explainer: Why is Kerala govt keeping the report a secret?

Minister Rajeev, questioned by the media on WCC's concerns, played earlier television reports quoting the WCC as saying that they had not asked the report to be published and only wanted the recommendations by the Hema Committee to be implemented. The minister said that it was the media that reported it so earlier, and added that the government would be bringing a law to implement the recommendations of the Hema Committee report.

The WCC will be meeting Kerala's Minister for Culture Saji Cheriyan on May 4.

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