India Warns Western Media Platforms Against Cultural Insult
While US-backed OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Hotstar are gaining popularity in Indian market, there are growing concerns over their programmes.
India’s Information and Broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur has delivered a stern warning to over-the-top (OTT) platforms operating in the country, saying that the government “won’t tolerate any insult to our culture”.
Addressing an event in New Delhi on Friday evening, Thakur said that the Indian authorities were in touch with OTT platforms to “maintain a balance between responsibility and entertainment”.
The Indian minister underscored the importance of “healthy entertainment for a healthy society”, as he called for “self-regulation” by the streaming services.
Thakur stated that it was important for the OTT platforms to understand their responsibilities.
He said that the content on OTT programs must adhered to “societal norms”.
“He (Thakur) warned against using self-regulation as a cover for indecent or culturally insensitive content, affirming the government's commitment to taking strict action against such violations,” according to an official transcript of the remarks.
The minister warned that “artistic freedom” shouldn’t undermine societal values or promote obscenity.
The remarks come against the backdrop of recent controversy around a Netflix movie ‘Annapoorani’, with Hindu groups accusing the American OTT platform and the movie-makers for “hurting” their religious sentiments.
US-backed platforms such as Netflix
, Amazon Prime
and Disney Hotstar
have in recent months been cautioned by Indian authorities
over some of their programmes, with New Delhi repeatedly warning them against propagating western values and ideologies
and demeaning the Indian culture.
Last November, the Indian government tabled a new broadcasting law in the Parliament which seeks to regulate video content, including in OTTs.