Soon Centre to issue guidelines to ‘control and monitor’ content on OTT platforms

The government had held discussions with various OTT platforms and the central government had rejected self-regulation proposals put forward by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)
Soon Centre to issue guidelines to ‘control and monitor’ content on OTT platforms

Following the controversies surrounding Amazon Prime’s Tandav and Mirzapur, the Centre will issue guidelines to regulate content on Over the Top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and others. Before this, the government had held discussions with various OTT platforms and the central government had rejected self-regulation proposals put forward by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

Currently, there is no censorship for movies, documentaries, or web series published on the OTT platforms, and reportedly, the Centre will now control and monitor, if necessary, the coverage of films, documentaries, news and political developments through online platforms. It is expected that the guidelines will be made public in a week.

According to reports, 21 MPs from different parties have sought an answer from the government regarding the content on OTT platforms. The MPs asked the Centre whether it is aware of the “sex, violence, abuse, vulgarity and disrespect to religious sentiments” being shared through these platforms.

On Friday, as a reply, the Ministry said that as a first step, the government amended the “allocation of Business Rules” in last November to bring all online platforms under the purview of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. They added that all platforms were informed to register with the Ministry.

Reportedly, the new outcry is over Tandav — starring Saif Ali Khan — featuring a scene where Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub dressed up as Lord Shiva mouthing controversial terms. This was followed by public outcry and demands for banning the series on Twitter and other social media. After the trolling, many had filed a case against the producers and cast with the Mumbai police.

“After watching the series, it was found that in the 17th minute of the first episode, characters playing Hindu gods and goddesses have been shown in an uncharitable way and using objectionable language, which can incite religious tension. Similarly, in the 22nd minute of the same episode, efforts have been made to ignite caste clashes with casteist remarks. The person holding a dignified post like that of Prime Minister has been shown in a very derogatory manner in the web series,” read the FIR filed by senior Sub-inspector Amar Nath Yadav.

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