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Not having a regulatory body for OTT will be disastrous

OTT have become the future of cinema. Due to Covid-19, people were forced to stay inside their houses. Many country including India enforced lockdown where people were not allowed to come out of their houses so to curb the disease. With nothing for entertainment, people opted OTT platforms for their normal time pass. OTT gave an opportunity for people to utilize their time. People from the film industry got a place to launch their products and have good number of consumers along with relatively less chances of loses. Today lockdown has ended, however people did not start going to theatres or outing for entertainment. Many are still preferring OTT. Reasons are also not very difficult to understand, one of is that OTT contents are easily accessible and is affordable to most of the people. Another reason for people to prefer OTT contents are that the quality has not be compromised and that they are getting a good experience. However, with every good comes drawback.

 

Since OTT Platforms are new concept, there are almost no regulations with regards to that in many countries including India. While there is an autonomous body often known as Censor Board regulates contents released in theatres and award them with various grading, another body investigates contents released on TV. However, there is no such body for OTT platforms. After much perusal of Government of India, 15 OTT Platforms including Hotstar, Amazon Prime and Netflix came together and formed a self regularly board however it seems inefficient. The problem with the contents is very wide. With no regulations, the producers and directors of the shows time and again are misusing the creative freedom and over exploit it.

 

In the name of creative freedom, OTT platforms not only mock the most peaceful and the oldest religion Hinduism but also their god’s, deities, culture, and rituals. In a country with over 80% Hindu population, such things are not only unacceptable but are bad for the society at large. OTT platforms in the name of creativity tries to portray bad image of India as a whole and openly show the Indian defence forces and institutions in bad light without any credible evidence. OTT platforms through their shows have started showing visuals and dialogues full of foul and abusive language and promotes movies/series with scenes not only promoting violence against women and children but also serving softporn at times. Time has come when a country like India with over 130 crore population must have an autonomous body to regulate such contents and such platforms. There are many shows and movies from US and Europe which maybe allowed in those countries but not suitable for Indian viewers yet they’re available without any filter or modification under the impression that there is no regulatory authority or regulation in India. It is for us to decide as to what kind of society we want to build. We can’t say that we should be like United States as they promote creative freedom. Because if we compare creative freedom allowed in India and United States, we should also compare the crime rate between India and United States which is in India’s favour. India is a country with population of over 130 crores of different religion, caste, creed, gender, and other differences who are also sensitive in nature. It will be disastrous for the social fabric of this nation by not having a regulatory body to monitor contents which may otherwise lead to great divide in the society.

 

Author: Adv. Shashank Shekhar Jha
Legal Editor, GoaChronicle.com

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