Netflix is facing calls for censorship in India.
The news comes a week after the Indian government announced that streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video would be placed under the regulatory supervision of the country’s ministry of information and broadcasting.
On Sunday, an Indian state asked police to investigate the Netflix series A Suitable Boy after complaints over a scene in which a Hindu girl kisses a Muslim boy in front of a Hindu Temple.
Narottam Mishra, the interior minister of the central state of Madhya Pradesh, tweeted:
“It has extremely objectionable scenes that have hurt the feelings of a particular religion. I’ve directed police officers to get this controversial content tested [to determine] what legal action can be taken against the producer-director of the film for hurting religious sentiments”.
The series is an adaptation of an English-language novel by celebrated Indian Writer Vikram Seth, and is directed by filmmaker Mira Nair.
A separate complaint has also emerged from Gaurav Tiwari, – leader of the youth wing of India’s ruling Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Tiwari threatened that the show could lead to street protests from Hindus.
Netflix declined to comment on the complaints.
Critics have complained that the new Indian regulation has the potential to threaten free speech, with the transfer of regulatory authority away from the ministry of technology imposing restrictions on controversial issues such as gender equality, sexual violence, the caste system and religious persecution.
The regulation’s implementation came into effect after a failed attempt from eight major streaming platforms to head off government restrictions by signing up to a self-regulation code in 2019.
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