Women make-up artists in bollywood and gender bias

Adyasree Prakriti Sivakumar

Supreme Court says no discrimination on ground of gender.

India’s $2-billion film industry is the largest in world by ticket sales. It produces between 300 to 325 movies a year and, although there are no official figures, trade analysts say the Hindi-language industry alone employs more than 250,000 people, most of them contract workers.

In a landmark judgment by the Supreme Court of India, now says that make-up artists cannot be discriminated on the grounds of gender, domicile or years of experience to join any professional institute thus, declaring it “unlawful”.  The apex court also quashed provision which puts restriction on women make-up artists and hair dressers from becoming the members of professional associations. This nearly six decade practice was forcefully stopped due to its “unlawfulness” and “being unconstitutional” and was told not be followed for even a day longer!

The apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra also struck down the provision of the make-up artists and hairdressers association that mandated a person to be a resident of a particular place for five years to entitle him/her to become member of the association.

In a court case brought by a group of female make-up artists against the Cine Costume Make-up Artists and Hair Dressers Association (CCMAA), a two-judge bench said on Monday it would not permit this type of discrimination.

To quote Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit, “You better delete this clause on your own. Remove this immediately. We are in 2014, not in 1935. Such things cannot continue even for a day,” they told the CCMAA. The petition was brought by make-up artist Charu Khurana and other qualified female artists whose applications for make-up artist identification cards were rejected by the CCMAA because they are women.

As quoted rightly by Justices Dipak Mishra and U U Lalit, we are living in an era of modernization and internationalization, then why do such cases or circumstances still come up? Why is it that, when we are “getting inspired” by other nations in aspects of technology and computerization, we lack in getting inspired in these aspects?

Why is it that the petition filed, firstly by Charu Khuranna and her team, was rejected on the grounds that she is a “woman”? Doesn’t Article 15 of our Constitution say a big NO to this? To add on, in the very same article, clause (3) says, “….Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children”. Why is it that despite such protection and clarity such a situation arose?

It’s high time we analyzed on this side of the coin. To put it in a nutshell it is “the need of the hour”. In our thoughts and actions alone lie the answers to the problem.