The Indian threshold for tolerance has been decreasing ever so steadily since the past few years. Starting off with beef, pornography, public display of affection and now OTT platforms and free expression in mainstream media.
Editing and scratching off lines are very common during the censorship process of a mainstream bollywood production. Anything which can hurt the sentiments of an average indian must be removed immediately because after all, we are a very tolerant nation but only till it doesn’t inconvenience us.
In November 2020, the government decided to form a censorship guideline for OTT platforms screening in india.
In the past few days the web series, Tandav has taken the modi government and supporters by a storm. It features some scenes which hurt some people’s religious beliefs. The producers of the series stated clearly that it was all fictional and they never intended to jab at any religions. This scene, along with some others, caused massive uproar going so far as to label it an act of “hinduphobia”.
Given the huge amount of responses received against the web series, the government has decided to ban it. Which raises the question, what about multiple other movies which affect the sentiments of the minority? what about free speech? But that is a discussion for another time.
We’re here to talk about selective censorship and why our government favors it.
Laxmii, a movie that sparked major controversy within the LGBTQ+ community for demonizing the transgender community and for misrepresentation of the community (a trans character was played by a cisgender man). The creators of the movie went ahead fix every other mishap in the movie which ranged from love jihad to wrong use of the name of goddess laxmi but they failed to even acknowledge the invalidation of the transgender community.
Now this is not the first time a bollywood movie has a homophobic and/or transphobic premise AND they’ve gotten away with it, but it’s about time we as consumers start raising questions about why religious sentiments are more important than sexual orientation and gender identity?
In a country that preaches free speech and secularism and protection of the minority and whatnot, why does the government get to pick favorites? It’s completely justifiable to feel upset over wrong representation but why does one community get priority over the other?
Along with Tandav there are many other beautifully scripted series and movies that got taken down due to “religious intolerance” but there are innumerable amount of movies and series that have failed to receive any action from the broadcasting authority.
Now this article isn’t to belittle or invalidate anyone’s struggles or emotions, but it merely is to bring light to instances that have been long ignored and pushed under the rug for far too long.
Stay safe and healthy! Stay educated and Be kind!