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OTT Platforms Under I&B Ministry: Will Netflix’s Sacred Games Come Under Scrutiny?

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OTT Platforms Under I&B Ministry: Will Netflix’s Sacred Games Come Under Scrutiny?

Since the first talked-about Made in India OTT content, Sacred Games, featured on Netflix in June 2018, there has been hue and cry about the kind of content that was peddled in the name of home entertainment. The feature was everything that the CBFC would have rejected after watching the first few minutes. Just about everybody who watched it found it gory, macabre replete with foul words, violence sans reason with an overdose of sex, unnatural at that. FIR Against Hotshot, ALTBalaji, Kukoo, Ullu and Other OTT Platforms Over Allegedly Transmitting ‘Obscene’ Content Online

Sacred Games had all that neither the Indian Censors Board would allow or was suited to be seen at home. It was not porn, it was worse. It was a script of convenience. A lay despo walks in, kills the reigning don of an area in Mumbai and becomes the new don! Is becoming a don so easy in Mumbai? If that was not all, he takes over the city! Fine, the writer’s imagination should have stopped here. After all, he was, probably, just giving vent to his dreams — that of becoming a different writer. More a show of deprivation. Laxmii: Akshay Kumar’s Horror-Comedy Breaks Record, Gets Biggest Ever Opening on Disney+Hotstar As Claimed by the OTT Platform!

I remember a time from the single screen era. There were some periods that were considered dull for the release of a new film. The exhibitors had to feed their cinemas with dubbed films from South or re-runs of successful old films to keep the business going. There were areas where the audience was majorly labour class in every city and town, and the exhibitors there preferred these South Indian dubbed films, especially from the Malayalam film industry, which was rather bolder with depiction of sex.

The posters and banners of such films promised sex scenes which were not even a part of the film. In the film, it was left to the imagination of this lower strata viewer that had landed up in the metro to work and feed a family back home. But, even this class, which toiled to earn a living, had some shame and, if they were drawn to such a film, it was only during the night shows which, in those days, commenced at 9pm. They could not be seen entering such a screening in broad daylight.

And here with OTT, we are talking about family viewers who are expected to watch programmes with family! Then, the arrival of OTT in India, on which neither the authorities nor the Indian Censor Board had so far no control, let content-givers vent their filthiest of creativity. More such content followed; even an Arya, which did not need to depict sex added it ‘just to be safe’! Except two of the best and most successful OTT shows, Special Ops and Scam 1992 and a few others, just about every content maker for the OTT seems to be convinced that repulsive content sells! Maybe, to the OTT platforms it sells, not to the ultimate consumer, the viewer.

But, Sacred Games and other such programmes that followed, raised many eyebrows and, from the day of its launch on the OTT, a demand rose for a Censor Board-like check on OTT content. I am naming Censor Board just because it is a content controlling body, not because it has proved to be effective in any way!

Sex and violence were not the only ingredients that were bothersome. There were some programmes that took liberty while depicting the armed forces or religion. There was much controversy about Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl which dealt with the subject of the India Air Force and the recent Laxmi Bomb which was later retitled just Laxmii. For them, it would be better to know that in India, when it comes to providing entertainment, the watch word is Identification. The viewer has to find the story familiar or, at least, plausible. One he can relate with. A lot of films, or almost all, dealing with stories about the Bahubalis (strongmen) of UP and Bihar have failed when released theatrically.

People don’t take lightly anymore to religion or nationalism being compromised in anyway in the name of entertainment. However, some makers think making such a content raises controversy and generates a lot of free publicity and awareness, leading to creation of viewers. I have observed many times that the death of a star may boost a film’s prospects, controversy never did. I suppose, what applied to films will also work the same way with OTT content.

A lot of good content in various languages followed and was much appreciated. But, for some reasons, there was a certain lot who probably thought it was trendy, or that they were living up to international standards, by depicting all that was repulsive. The difference between feature filmmakers and OTT content makers is that, while filmmakers are usually pedigreed, the other kind is, in most cases, Fly by Night kind or, the small-time filmmakers.

The idea is to make money and, since the OTT platforms need to create content suitable for India, these makers are cashing in. The cinema business and its taxation were always a state government subject being on the concurrent list till GST regime came into being. Each state made concessions for the new trend of multiplex building, giving them tax holidays and other sops. The old single screen cinemas that had no such benefits and old rates of taxations and about 20-plus licences to renew every year, stood no chance.

Single screen cinemas started closing down, depriving the masses of affordable entertainment. (A cinematographer of repute, Hemant Chaturvedi, who has shot films like Company, Maqbool, Ishaqzaade, Kurbaan and Brothers among many others, has embarked on a mission to click photographs of these closed down single screens all over Hindi belt of India, which are in a change of user status. He plans to compile his work into a voluminous book and that book will show the pathetic state of these cinema halls, which once enthralled thousands of people every week). It was an unfair deal meted out to the single screen cinemas that while multiplexes got all the benefits, there was no provision to protect the traditional single screens.

This example is necessary because the same is the case when it comes to the theatrical exhibition and OTT content. While the theatrical cinema is controlled by various regulations including the censorships, OTT content, so far, had no such ombudsman not watching over what they vended. Surprising that the various governments, which imposed censorship on films with such a heavy hand, let the OTT platforms enter uncontrolled since they made their entry in India! Like multiplexes killed the single screen, the unchecked OTT would certainly limit the appeal of the theatre-going experience! There has to be a level playing field.

So, now, rather late than never, the government at the Centre has woken up to this anomaly. The OTT and other digital content including the news portals will henceforth be subject to scrutiny by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. The Cinematograph Act, which deals with the public exhibition of films, should have been amended the day the first OTT platform entered India. But, how will the government implement censorship on OTT is the question, since no government has been able to manage even the CBFC satisfactorily so far since the Cinematograph Act 1952!

How will the government control OTT content is the question. As a matter of fact, India has all the relevant laws to deal with all sorts of situations, but lacks grossly in its implementation. When it comes to films, there are guidelines laid down, for OTT there are no such guidelines. By going through the content that has already been released in the public domain, the Ministry can start with forming the basic broad guidelines and then work on fine-tuning gradually.

(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Nov 15, 2020 11:49 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).

Charles recently joined the team, and he writes for the Headline column of the website. He has done major in English, and a having a diploma in Journalism. He has worked for more than 1.5 years in a media house. Now, he joined our team as a contributor for covering the latest US headlines. He is smart both by him looks and nature. He is very good with everyone in the team.

Entertainment

‘Netflix’s The Crown Should Be Called A Work Of Fiction’, Demands UK Cultural Secretary Oliver Dowden

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'Netflix's The Crown Should Be Called A Work Of Fiction', Demands UK Cultural Secretary Oliver Dowden

Netflix’s The Crown has managed to captivate audiences across the world. The new season has been especially gratifying to many as it talked about Princess Diana and her tumultuous marriage with Prince Charles. Quite obviously, the depiction of the royal family in this series did ruffle a few feathers. The latest addition to that is UK Cultural Secretary Oliver Dowden’s demand that the streamer issues a disclaimer at the start about the series being ‘a work of fiction.’ The Crown Season 4 Review: Emma Corrin’s Diana And Gillian Anderson’s Margaret Thatcher Deserve Applause But It’s Josh O’Connor’s Prince Charles That Keeps It Humane (Onhike Exclusive)

Speaking to Daily Mail, Dowden said, “It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that.” He believes that it could give a damaging view of the family to the generation who was not present when the events took place.  He feels a whole generation may mistake fiction for facts. Dowden also reveals that he would be writing a letter to Netflix on the same.

Earl Spencer, late Lady Diana’s brother, also voiced similar concerns when he told ITV, “It would help The Crown an enormous amount if at the beginning of each episode it stated that, ‘This isn’t true but is based around some real events’. Because then everyone would understand it’s a drama for drama’s sake.”

All this happened after The Crown season 4 led to a lot of abuse instances. There are reports that Camilla Parker-Bowles, Prince Charles’ second wife, has received a lot of abusive messages and so did some of the other members of the royal family.

(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Nov 30, 2020 03:08 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).

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Rahul Roy Continues to Battle in the Hospital, Fans Pray for His Speedy Recovery (View Tweets)

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Rahul Roy Continues to Battle in the Hospital, Fans Pray for His Speedy Recovery (View Tweets)

Veteran actor Rahul Roy suffered from a brain stroke yesterday and was taken to Nanavati hospital immediately for treatment. His health deteriorated while he was shooting for his film LAC – Live The Battle in Kargil and was brought back to Mumbai shortly. The crew was in Kargil for a 17-day shoot and reportedly had two more days of the shoot left when Rahul’s health started to deteriorate. The actor’s brother Romeer confirmed the news with the media and revealed that he is recovering. Rahul Roy Hospitalised Due to Brain Stroke, Raveen Tandon Prays for His Speedy Recovery.

While no details about his treatment in the hospital are out,  the fans of the veteran actor have been worried sick to know how he is doing. Twitter has been abuzz with prayers for Rahul Roy and the hashtag #RahulRoy is even trending on the social media platform.

Sharing videos and pictures of the actor, Twitteratis are wishing for his speedy recovery. One of the users went on to write, “Prayers for my DEAREST brother Rahul Roy…Get well soon Tiger you have lots of Junoon in you and the world knows Aashiqui only bcz of you.” Another user wrote, “Sir #RahulRoy we pray for u. You recover very soon.”

Check Out The Tweets Here:

Get Well Soon!

We All Pray For His Speedy Recovery!

A Sweet Message From Another Fan!

Fans Sending Best Wishes!

A source close to the development revealed to India Express, “It was extreme weather conditions that caused the stroke. He was rushed from Kargil to Srinagar and then to the Nanavati Hospital.” Rahul Roy’s Co-Star Nishant Singh Malkhani Reveals Why the Actor May Have Suffered a Brain Stroke on the Set.

Talking about his film LAC, it also features former Bigg Boss 14 contestant Nishant Singh Malkhani in a pivotal role. Directed by Nitin Kumar Gupta, the film is being produced by Chitra Vakil Sharma and Nivedita Basu. Rahul plays the role of a colonel in while Nishant will be seen in the lead role.

(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Nov 30, 2020 02:39 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).

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Guru Nanak Jayanti 2020: Akshay Kumar, Diljit Dosanjh and Ajay Devgn Extend Wishes on on 551st Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev

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Guru Nanak Jayanti 2020: Akshay Kumar, Diljit Dosanjh and Ajay Devgn Extend Wishes on on 551st Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev

It’s the 551st Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev and a rather auspicious occasion for Sikhs all over the world. The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, who founded Sikhism is also known as Gurupurab, Prakash Purab and Guru Nanak Jayanti. The auspicious occasion is of a lot prominence for Sikhs and our Bollywood celebs have extended their heartfelt wishes for the same. From Akshay Kumar to Ajay Devgn and Diljit Dosanjh, Bollywood actors took to their Twitter accounts to share their wishes on this special day. Guru Nanak Jayanti 2020 Wishes: PM Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Amarinder Singh and Other Leaders Greet People on 551st Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Check Out their Tweets

  Diljit Dosanjh

Akshay Kumar

Ajay Devgn

Mika Singh

Rakul Preet Singh

Amongst the political leaders, PM Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and others had earlier extended wishes to the devotees on this special occasion.

(The above story first appeared on Onhike on Nov 30, 2020 02:30 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website onhike.com).

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