After the Tandav controversy, which led to an outrage among Hindus against OTT platforms, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting has said that the Ministry will come up with guidelines for the OTT platforms very soon. This would be probably the first step towards the regulation of OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar and AltBalaji.
“We have received a lot of complaints against some serials available on OTT platforms. Films and series released on OTT platforms and digital newspapers do not come under the purview of the Press Council Act, Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, or Censor Board. We will soon come up with some guidelines for the OTT platforms,” said Prakash Javadekar, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting in an address to the media.
Previously the Supreme Court of India refused to grant any relief to the makers and cast of the controversial web series, saying that nobody has the right to hurt the religious sentiments of any community.
The Supreme Court, in fact, made no less than some scathing remarks regarding the web series Tandav and the petitions of those accused of hurting the sentiments of the country’s Hindu community. “Your right to freedom of speech is not absolute. You cannot play the role of a character that hurts the sentiments of a community,” the bench said.
Throughout the series, there are innumerable instances when one can find anti-Hindu rhetoric and narrative being spun, not to mention the fact that the show portrays Indian polity as a bunch of scavengers who have been put to power. Although subtle – the targeting of the BJP government by the makers of Tandav has not been given a miss by anyone.
The entire series is filled with scenes that depict a wrong picture of India and are being used to propagate an anti-Hindu narrative, especially among those who do not seem to have a particular liking for the community since times immemorial.
Netflix, the rival of Amazon Prime, is miles ahead of the competitor in showing anti-Hindu content. A Suitable Boy – a web series directed by Mira Nair is based on the 1993 novel of the same name by Vikram Seth, takes disrespect to Hinduism to another level. The novel is about a love story between a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy, but Mira Nair, a habitual offender, chose to depict a kissing scene between the couples in the background of a temple.
Netflix has been indulging in anti-Hindu propaganda for a long time. Series such as Leila depicts a dystopian Hindu oppressive state, which portrays that in the name of religion, the individuals aren’t given their basic rights. However, such an oppressive Hindu state is a piece of fiction at best, unrelated to the current scenario and unlikely to happen in the near future.
Moreover, the second season of ‘Sacred Games’ shows Hinduphobia and Indophobia of another level altogether. Here, a Sanatani teacher is not only venomous but is also ready to blow up an entire city in order to achieve his goals.
In this series, almost every Hindu character is shown as wicked, uncouth and barbaric, while Muslim characters, especially Inspector Majid Shahid being the sole exception have been shown as innocent, resolute, not hesitating to sacrifice themselves if need be.
Another popular series named Ghoul which was yet again co-produced by Anurag Kashyap and Vikas Bahl founded Phantom Films too had a clear-cut anti-national and anti-Hindu narrative that ran throughout the length of the series.
Tandav was the boiling point of Hindus against the blatant Hinduphobia depicted on OTT platforms. The release of the web series led to a huge uproar among the community to ban it, and the Ministry has finally acted after the immense pressure deployed by disaffected Hindus.
Given the blatant Hinduphobia, the regulation of OTT is the need of the hour, and the Modi government should come up with the bill to regulate the platform.