Top Netflix executive Srishti Behl Arya rubbished reports of the streaming service meeting the representatives of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to restrict “anti-national” and “anti-Hindu” content on shows from the streaming platform.
There were reports that the RSS, the ideological fountainhead of the ruling BJP, have been holding informal meetings with Netflix, Amazon and other digital platforms to monitor content critical of the government. Asked about the same, Arya, who is director – International Original Film, India, Netflix, dubbed the story “fake news”.
“It’s not a true story. There was no meeting at all. It’s a fake news,” she told reporters on Sunday evening. Arya was speaking at the panel discussion ‘Artistic Freedom: Mapping Out The Entertainment Story’ at the Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival with Star.
Aparna Purohit, head of India Originals of Amazon Prime, singer Sona Mohapatra and actor Sobhita Dhulipala were also a part of the panel. There were also reports that the government is keen on censoring digital content.
Asked if the scenario was scary, Purohit said, “We will continue to comply with the law of the land.” Srishti said unlike storytelling, the law of the land is not subjective. “The law is the law. It’s not like, ‘I don’t like you, so I’m going to stab you.’ Whatever is permitted by the law, we would go into those spaces and the rest is all about the stories that creators want to tell.” Sobhita, who featured in Amazon’s critically-acclaimed series Made in Heaven, said every time a voice is suppressed, many more come out in the open against the injustice.
“The more variety of stories there will be addressing it in different ways. Back in the days in those typical Indian films people didn’t show men and women in their intimate moments, so it would come out in songs or some cheesy moments because they couldn’t address it in a normal way. Maybe political statements will be made but in a subtler, simpler, maybe more clever ways, that’s not conventionally offensive. Anurag Kashyap’s work has such political undertones but it’s not really in your face, it leaves people thinking,” she added.