Seven years of abuse-obscenity: Minister takes notice, finally

Finally, a central minister has woken up to the vulgar and abusive content on the various OTT platforms, in the name of freedom of expression

Finally, a central minister has woken up to the vulgar and abusive content on the various OTT platforms. All in the name of freedom of expression – much more than what the century-old Indian film industry gets to enjoy.

It is rather strange that not only the country’s ruling elite, but even the courts think that the OTT platforms were entitled to freedom, while the feature films were not! After reports and comments on the overdose of vulgar content in the news and social media, Information & Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur has warned the OTT platforms that obscenity and abusive language cannot be tolerated.

But then, ministers are known to make grand statements, but the implementation of the warnings/laws remains ineffective.

Why make a statement and why not take concrete steps to settle the issue once and for all? After all, this trend of dishing out vulgar, violent, gory depictions on OTT media was evident since their entry into India in 2016.

Few would know that many feature films banned for public exhibition in India are officially available on OTT platforms. Not to mention the foreign films that were also banned by the Censors.

The OTT platforms started off by buying films banned for theatrical release by the Censor Board for theatrical release. The first acquisition by Netflix as far as one can recall was ‘Black Friday’.

The major films banned by the CBFC – notably, ‘Black Friday’, ‘Parzania’, ‘Inshaallah Football’, ‘Loev’, ‘Water’, ‘Fire’, ‘Kissa Kursi Ka’, ‘Gandu’, ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’ and ‘Unfreedom’ – are all available on the OTT platforms for everybody: adult, teenager and elderly alike!

What was the point in banning them? What is the use of having a Censor Board in India? These banned films on OTT platforms are a slap on the Censor Board and the government’s skewed policy.

–By Vinod Mirani

Agency News Desk
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