The last couple of years have witnessed an amazing change in the Entertainment arena. Earlier we had limited modes of entertainment like Movies and Television, but with the advent of High-Speed internet and smart TV’s the paradigm has been changed like never before.
The OTT (Over The Top) platform has offered a unique opportunity for the content providers to serve the original and authentic content to the viewers. The exclusivity of the content is turning out to be one of the biggest drivers in the OTT space and it has gained vast momentum off late.
We have seen many International and Local OTT platform services like Netflix, Amazon, Zee5, ALT Balaji, and Hotstar, etc, which have gained immense popularity among the masses for their amazing content and robust production values. OTT is gaining popularity as it offers a wide variety of content and that too without any kind of censor.
But, as everything has both good and bad facets, the same applies on OTT Platform as well. We have also observed many controversial content on OTT platform recently, and among that the anti-Hindu content has been leading. Especially in last 3 years, we have seen many TV Series or Movie released on OTT, which presented Anti-Hindu content as a propaganda, to gain popularity and TRP’s.
There is umpteen number of series like ‘The Sacred Games’, ‘Ashram’, ‘Tandav’, ‘The Family Man’, ‘Ghoul’, ‘Leila’, ‘Patal Lok’ etc, which are promoting Anti-Hindu content and propaganda with full galore. Several complaints and FIR’s have been registered against several OTT platforms, but nothing much has been achieved till now.
Several pro-Hindu organizations like Vishwa Hindu Parishad and RSS have issued stern warnings to filmmakers and over-the-top (OTT) media services against movies or web series that may show the Hindu religion in a “disparaging” manner. Both VHP and RSS warned all filmmakers and OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon, MX Player, Alt Balaji, etc to immediately stop anti-Hindu web series or movies ridiculing or mocking Hindu Dharma.
If we talk about political parties, then it’s only BJP that always comes forward and opposed the anti-Hindu content. The fresh controversy erupted since the release of a new series ‘Tandav’ on Amazon, which stars Saif Ali Khan and several other Bollywood to-shots.
This series has shown Hindus in bad light and this time BJP Leader and Member Of Parliament Manoj Kotak has decided to raise his voice against this apathy against Hindus.
Manoj Kotak raised a valid point, where he is raising a genuine concern on behalf of Hindus. He stated that OTT platforms are misusing the freedom from any censorship and unilaterally attacking the sentiments of Hindus. He further condemned the OTT platforms and stated that he has spoken with Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javedkar and requested him to create a regulatory mechanism for OTT content, which will help us keep our interests intact.
It is evident that OTT Platforms and content creators are misusing this platform to propagate their vicious propaganda and skewed point of view against Hinduism and India per se. They are targeting Hindu Gods, Hindu culture, and Hindu ethos as well. It seems a pre-conceived strategy to produce anti-Hindu content, which creates furor and they utilize the controversy to garner more views and earn more money.
OTT Regulation is very much required
In October 2019, the government had indicated that it will issue “negative” list of don’ts for the video streaming services like Netflix and Hotstar. It also wanted the platforms to come up with a self-regulatory body on the lines of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority.
Currently, there is no law or autonomous body governing digital content. In a gazette notification issued recently which was signed by President Ram Nath Kovind. Several opposition parties and self-proclaimed activists raised doubts on the Government’s intentions and termed it as a step to curb artistic freedom.
Anticipating the government’s intervention, in January 2019, eight video streaming services had signed a self-regulatory code that laid down a set of guiding principles for content on these platforms.
The code adopted by the OTTs prohibited five types of content. This includes content that deliberately and maliciously disrespects the national emblem or national flag, any visual or storyline that promotes child pornography, any content that “maliciously” intends to outrage religious sentiments, content that “deliberately and maliciously” promotes or encourages terrorism, and, lastly, any content that has been banned for exhibition or distribution by law or court.
The online films, digital news, and current affairs content now come under the purview of the I&B Ministry. OTT platforms are still spreading anti religious (read Hinduism) content in spite of signing the self-regulatory code of conduct. However, the I&B Ministry is still not taking any concrete action against these content providers.
It seems now citizens should take this fight on their own. Here Leaders like Manoj Kotak can lead our way and help us channelize the energy towards a common objective. We should raise our voice via social media and other possible forums, and we should ensure that nobody should be allowed to demean Hindus in this way, enough is enough.