The Bombay High Court last week issued notices to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting over a plea seeking regulation of the content of ‘web series’ or other programs which are broadcast directly through the internet. A division bench of Justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and M G Biradkar issued notices to the I&B Ministry, Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Home Affairs and also the Nagpur police commissioner, seeking replies by October 31.

The petitioner says that broadcasting nudity or vulgar scenes is a cognisable offence under IPC, Cinematograph Act, Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986 and the Information Technology Act, 2000. The petition also demands that The I & B Ministry should set up a pre-screening committee for web shows, films or other programs which are released directly on online platforms.

Here we go again. We enjoyed the freedom till it lasted. While at that, I think everyone knew at the back of their head that this freedom was always going to be short lived. Someone or the other was always going to kick up a fuss about some or the other thing with respect to the digital platform.

Such content is anyway meant for audiences who are above the age of 18 and violent content is always PG. People, including the makers and the audience, especially in India, were loving the digital revolution because there was freedom to truly express. Now it’s in the process of being snatched away as well. We all now live in a progressive modern society and we certainly don’t need to be dragged back to the old times now. There is still time and we should do something about it.

Let’s come together and fight for our freedom. Let’s not give in to their demands. I’ve said this time and over that if we bow to one demand, we will keep bowing to them till the day we die. I think we should face the facts, we can’t please the 132 crore Indians always. Someone or the other is going to keep having problems. It is either the content or the kind of content or someone with whom we are associating with, there is always going to be a problem. But ask yourselves, why is it only us that have to keep on making the compromises?

By – Amul Vikas Mohan

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