Published On : Sun, Mar 19th, 2023

“Freedom For Creativity, Not Obscenity”: Minister To Streaming Platforms

Anurag Thakur's remarks came days after Delhi High Court's scathing remarks about the web series "College Romance".

Nagpur: The Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports Anurag Thakur on Sunday emphasised that the government will not tolerate obscenity or foul language in the name of creativity by streaming platforms or OTT. He also hinted that the government will not hesitate to intervene if someone “crosses the limit.”

“Abusing in the name of creativity will not be tolerated. Government is serious about complaints of increasing abusive and obscene content on OTT platforms. If there is a need to make any changes in the rules regarding this, the ministry will consider in that direction as well,” Thakur told the press in Nagpur.

A streaming media service that provides direct access to viewers via the Internet is known as an over-the-top. OTT avoids platforms like cable, broadcast, and satellite television.

“These platforms were given freedom for creativity, not obscenity or abusing. And when someone crosses a limit, then abusing, rudeness in the name of creativity cannot be accepted at all. Whatever necessary action needs to be taken on this, the government will not back down from it,” he added.
Thakur’s remarks come days after Delhi High Court’s scathing remarks about the web series “College Romance”. The court said that the content’s sexually explicit language could influence impressionable minds because it was widely available.

It urged the government to take steps to check the language on such platforms and stated that the series contains “obscene, lascivious, and profane content.”

The judge further said she tracked down the language “so foul and obscene” that she needed to utilize headphones to watch episodes.

Today, in light of an increase in complaints, the Minister explained that the producer must address the issue first.

“After that the complaints are resolved at the level of their association, then most of the complaints are resolved there. When it comes to the level of the government, then strict action is taken at the level of the departmental committee, according to whatever rules are in place,” said Thakur.

“But somewhere complaints have started increasing in the last few days and the department is taking it very seriously. We will think seriously if we have to make some changes on this,” the Minister added.

A petition seeking a new OTT censorship system was denied by the Indian Supreme Court last year. Sujeet Kumar Singh, a resident of Mirzapur, had reportedly asked a bench comprised of Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi to convene a preview committee to review all forms of OTT content prior to its release. The Court stated that such a process was impossible.