In a bid to promote Indian languages, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has asked all satellite TV channels to display the casting, credits and titles of Hindi and regional language serials in the respective languages also. They have gone on and done this because, usually the casting, credits, titles of Hindi and regional language TV serials are written in English and they have now realized that they don’t want the audience who know a certain regional language to miss out on the information of casting and other credits of TV serials. While the ministry has also confirmed that they are issuing such orders for Cinema as well.

Yes, it does seem like a noble step and it will let people who have worked on a certain serial gain more recognition and everything, but as I read this, the only thing I wonder is – At what cost? Not only that but also, why do things keep being constantly imposed on this industry? It is really like they do something to make our lives easier and then just as we try and take a breath, WHAM, a new inconvenience is there around the corner.

The biggest hindrance by the order is that there are space constrains while adding the Devnagri and other regional language credits. In serials these days, a lot of times the cast names start rolling in while the recap is on, during the title theme or as the title theme gets over. There usually is barely enough space to write the credits in one language and now we’re being forced to add another. Similar is the case with films. In films as well, many a times only the names of director and producers go in the opening credits, with the names of the cast start rolling while the film starts. With respect to end credits, already the list of names working on the film is huge and is already a task. Now this is going to make it even more hectic.

Another important thing to note here is that, the I&B ministry has said that adding titles and credits in English is optional but it is mandatory to have the titles in Hindi and other regional languages. While we agree that a lot of people don’t understand the language and it is for their sake and so that they can read and even the people working on films can get more recognition that way, but what about the films and serials that have an international audience, or films which are sent to festivals or release internationally? This will really affect the time it takes to make a film with the editors spending extra time doing different exports depending on requirement, like having Hindi + English for pan India release to just having English/other language for release internationally.

I mean, was this really necessary? There are far better ways how they could have helped us, and in fact not long ago in this very column I wrote that I hope much better steps are taken to help the industry and this happens not three weeks later. I guess we might have to strap in for this roller coaster of a ride.

By – Amul Vikas Mohan

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