I&B min set to expand Shyam Benegal panel, may include Kamal Hassan

I&B min set to expand Shyam Benegal panel, may include Kamal Hassan

The I&B ministry may soon add more members, including actor-filmmaker Kamal Hassan, to the Shyam Bengal committee that has been set up to look holistically into the functioning of the Censor Board, which has been mired in controversies in the recent past.

It has been felt that more regions of the country should be given representation on the panel and so it has been suggested that filmmaker-actor Hassan and eminent directors Shaji Karun and Gautam Ghosh should be included on it, Benegal told PTI.

The acclaimed film-maker said that as a large number of films are made in South India and other regions, it was felt that more members could be added to the committee.
Benegal and other members of the committee, including filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, adman Piyush Pandey and film journalist Bhawana Somayaa had last week met Information and Broadcasting minister Arun Jaitley in Mumbai, where Minister of State Rajyavardhan Rathore was also present.

The I&B ministry is actively working on the suggestion to add more members, sources, meanwhile, said. While Hassan has long experience of working in the Tamil film industry, Karun has made several films in Malayalam. Bengali film-maker Ghosh's entry would give representation to eastern India on the panel.

The I&B ministry had set up the panel on January 1 to take a relook at the functioning of the Board. I&B minister Jaitley had last week said that film certification guidelines needed contemporary interpretation and should be as non-discretionary as possible.

Earlier, before the panel was set up, Jaitley had made his desire known that he would like the Certification Board to be "controversy-free" and added that he had discussed the matter with some experts as to what should be the future role of this body.

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