I&B Ministry to Issue Fresh Guidelines for OTT Platforms, Informs Union Minister Prakash Javadekar

Ananya Swaroop
·2-min read

Shows like Ali Abbas Zafar's Tandav have received major backlash for hurting religious sentiments in the past few weeks. It was the very reason why the content on OTT platforms like Amazon Prime Video came under the scanner of the higher authorities. Chaos followed after actor Zeeshan Ayyub was seen mocking Lord Shiva in Tandav and matters were taken into the hands of police officials in the form of FIRs. The makers agreed to make changes to the show after receiving backlash but the Information and Broadcasting Ministry official were far from satisfied by this. Tandav: Amazon Prime Video Officials in India Summoned by I&B Ministry Over the Controversy Surrounding This Saif Ali Khan Starrer.

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During an interaction with the media today, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that they will be issuing guidelines for OTT platforms after these incidents. He was quoted saying, "We have received a lot of complaints against some serials available on OTT platforms. Films and serials released on OTT platforms and digital newspapers do not come under the purview of the Press Council Act, Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act or Censor Board. We will come up with some guidelines on it soon."

The move comes after BJP MP Manoj Kotak revealed that he had written to Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar seeking a ban on Amazon Prime Video's series Tandav for ridiculing Hindu deities. Kotak, the MP from Mumbai North-East, alleged that attempts are often made on such platforms to not show Hindu deities in a good light. The ministry had then taken cognizance of the matter and asked Amazon Prime Video to explain themselves. When enquired about the same, Amazon Prime Video PR said the platform "won't be responding" on the matter. OTT Platforms Under I&B Ministry: Will Netflix’s Sacred Games Come Under Scrutiny?

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The government recently has also brought OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar, besides other online news and current affairs content, under the ambit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This will give the authorities the power to regulate policies and rules for the digital space.