Is 'Tandav' row a fresh call for OTT censorship?

Mumbai - The web series has run into trouble over alleged objectionable content.


Published: Wed 20 Jan 2021, 2:15 PM

The Tandav row has once again brought to focus the debate over whether OTT content in India should be censored. While many netizens support the idea, others wonder if censorship is the only way to end controversy.

Tandav, a drama series set against the backdrop of politics, was recently slammed by several people who claimed that it provokes communal disharmony and hurts sentiments of the Hindus. 

"I urge honorable Minister Shri @PrakashJavdekar, please ban Tandav web series and order to make all webseries under censor board. #BanTandavNow," tweeted one user.

Another wrote: "IB ministry should stop broadcast first n ask them to get censor certificate. Infact IB should constitute a separate board for censorship for all the OTT content."

Another netizen simply said: "CENSOR OTT PLATFORMS!! #Tandav."

One went on to suggest: "There should be a censor board for OTT, Tandav has crossed all the limits.. Agenda driven show by director and producers of the show."

Filmmaker Vikram Bhatt, who has created thematically provocative web series such as Maaya and Twisted, is against the idea. "I oppose censorship of any kind. We are a free and democratic country. Constitution of India gives us the right to freedom of opinion and speech. If there is something, then you are free to go to the court. The law will tell you whether the piece of content is objectionable or not. I don't think there should be any kind of censorship," Bhatt said.

Uttaran actress Tina Datta made her digital debut with the web series, Naxalbari. She feels people live in a day and age with access to internet and that "there is no way of truly censoring content".

"Kids have access to everything, and so it is a challenging decision and one that needs to be thought out," Tina said.

Young actor Nikhil Bhambri, who has featured in web series Black Widows, Who's Your Daddy and Puncch Beat, finds OTT censorship "unnecessary as the freedom of content gets compromised".

He added: "Let's not limit OTT platforms".

 Whether a government body is required to look into the content of digital platforms or not, is yet to be decided.

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