As reported earlier, the Supreme Court on Monday slammed a 59-year-old law that banned women make-up artists from working in the Indian film industry. Now, female professionals hail this development, saying it was about time the clause was revoked. “We are in 2014, not in 1935. Such things cannot continue even for a day,” said the judges at the apex court, adding that the ban was 'constitutionally impermissible discrimination'. The landmark judgment is due to be passed on November 10.
The case was brought up by make-up artist Charu Khurana, who challenged the rule made by the Cine Costume, Make-up Artists and Hair Dressers Association. “It started in 2007, when I met the union and asked them to issue me a make-up artist’s licence. But they kept giving me excuses. They tried to give me a hair-dresser licence instead,” says the 32-year-old, adding that her lawyer Jotika Kalra worked on the case for free. Khurana says the union has a bizarre reason behind the law: “They say that if no one gets their make-up done by men, the latter will lose their livelihood.”
Female actors, have, however, been ‘hiding’ female make-up artists in their vanity vans, employing them on the sly so that the union does not create trouble. “There have been times when I have been dragged out of the sets,” says Sonam Kapoor’s make-up artist Namrata Soni. Sonam adds, "I think the 1935 law is the most ridiculous thing. Do men think women will steal their jobs?"
Male artists, too, are hailing SC’s stance. “No one has the right to stop someone from doing what they want to do in life,” says celeb make-up artist Mickey Contractor.
Make(up) or break!
Makeup artists play an important role in the lives of actors. They’ve also been the cause of many a catfight. Two years ago, actors Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma reportedly had a tiff over a common makeup artist, Subhash. While Anushka wanted to take him to London for an event, Kat wanted to keep him for the then remaining shoot of Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (2011). In another case, makeup artist Mickey Contractor chose to work with Kareena over Madhuri for an event, causing furore.