April 20, 2019

IMA, IPS appeal to withdraw 'Mental Hai Kya' teasers


New Delhi, Apr 20: The Indian Medical Association and the Indian Psychiatric Society on Saturday appealed to producers of the film "Mental Hai Kya" to withdraw its teasers and change the movie's title, besides revising its content if it has any provocative sequence, dialogue or song.

The makers of the film have recently released a poster which shows its two lead actors facing each other as they balance a blade between their tongues.

"Brilliant imagination! But can we call it creative too? Creativity is all about producing a useful novelty. Yes, it is a novelty but would you call it useful?" the IMA and the IPS said in a statement issued here.

"The title 'Mental Hai Kya' is clearly derogatory to people fighting with their mental maladies. It is sarcastic and ridicules persons in pain," said Dr Santanu Sen, national president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

He alleged that the title of the film "ridicules" persons with mental illness which is not only unethical and inhuman but also illegal, he said.

"We appeal to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to intervene and request the Central Board of Film Certification to get the derogatory title and content censored or modified," Dr Sen added.

According to Section 92 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, whoever intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a person with disability in any place e within public view; shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to five years and with fine, the statement read.

"They may say that you are trying to obstruct our freedom of creative expression. We understand that creativity which utilities raw materials from unconscious mind needs no boundaries but it certainly needs editing by super ego to create a cultural artifact," said Dr Mrugesh Vaishnav, president of the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS).

"Can we call a title creative which ridicules more than 10 pc of the population fighting with inner pain of illness along with external discrimination and neglect?" he said.

Vaishnav said the logic of creativity and freedom of expression do not permit the creative filmmakers to hurt the sentiments of sufferers and provoke youngsters to risk their lives.

"In a time when India is facing rise in delinquency and personality disorders marked by risk-taking behaviours such as drug and alcohol use, speedy driving, etc. creating such provocative ideals amounts to crime," the statement read.

Studies reveal that almost the entire world, including India, is facing mental health-related stigma. Experts and activists are trying to tell people that nobody is "mental" or "mad", the statement read.

"Having a mental illness is neither a crime nor a curse. These are diseases which afflict people and are curable and in some cases manageable. In the era of emphasis on human rights, it is unethical to call them mentally ill," it stated.

IMA, IPS appeal to withdraw 'Mental Hai Kya' teasers


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