“Ab Hoga Tandav.”
The reel dialogue from the latest web series was probably referring to the real-life “TANDAV on display in recent days across the country.
The latest political drama by ace director Ali Abbas Zafar has received a severe backlash from the right-wing community for allegedly “hurting religious sentiments”.
Twitter was abuzz with hashtags calling for a ban on the show, followed by a call for banning the streaming platform itself, which soon took a political turn, with several high profile leaders from the ruling party filing FIRs against the show’s director, producer, and writers along with the regional head of the OTT platform.
Later the show’s lead actor Saif Ali Khan’s name was added to the FIR. The actor was provided with additional security, fearing violence.
Although the director tendered an apology within days after its release, it has made little or no effect on flayed tempers among the RW community.
With Over The Top (OTT) streaming services being brought under the ambit of the Information and Broadcasting ministry calls for censorship of streaming platforms have only grown louder in the country.
This will surely have an adverse impact on Content and Viewership in the future. Many upcoming releases have been forced back to the drawing board to rework their content to prevent controversies post-release.
People subscribe to these platforms on their own free will, knowing very well that such raw content will never be portrayed on the big screen. The content creators are provided with the freedom to touch on topics considered taboo by the masses.
Several low budget movies and show’s creators found OTTs as the perfect platform to showcase their work due to the fact that releasing them on the silver screen was financially impossible. These platforms also provided budding artists a stepping stone to build their careers, who were otherwise forced to submit to the mercy of big-ticket casting directors.
Censoring these platforms may render them obsolete, as the elemental difference between OTTs and the Film Industry, i.e., the unhindered creative freedom available for OTTs, may well be lost. Shows like “LEILA”(2019), which bluntly displayed the consequences of celebrating Communal politics and bigotry, may never see the light of day.
It is time that the general public takes a stand to protect personal liberties. Bigoted snowflakes cannot be allowed to determine what an individual watches, eats, wears, or thinks. In short, they need to follow the views expressed by one of the Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court.
“If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.”
It’s really that plain and simple.