Saif Ali Khan, who plays the policeman Sartaj Singh in Netflix’s controversial original series, Sacred Games, says that in India, one could get killed for giving voice to their opinions. The actor was reacting to the furore surrounding India’s first Netflix show, which was released on the streaming service on July 6 and has been criticised by politicians and prudes alike.
“If you date someone from the wrong caste, somebody will kill you in some parts of India. That’s just the way it is,” Saif said in an interview to The Quint. The actor was in London, and compared their relatively free society to the overbearing rules in India. “I don’t know how much you can criticise your government in India, somebody might kill you,” Saif said.
“It will be deeply frustrating if something happens to the show. If someone says you can’t air this or if Netflix is discontinued. Then that will be my turn to be outraged,” Saif said.
Sacred Games has come under fire for its graphic nature, which includes sex, violence, bad language and an unfiltered outlook at Indian politics. A member of the Congress party has filed a petition against the show for its depiction of former PM Rajiv Gandhi.
His son and current Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday tweeted: “BJP/RSS believe the freedom of expression must be policed & controlled. I believe this freedom is a fundamental democratic right. My father lived and died in the service of India. The views of a character on a fictional web series can never change that. #SacredGames.”
Gandhi’s statement was lauded by the show’s creative team, including co-director Anurag Kashyap.
Actor Swara Bhaskar and journalist Barkha Dutt also lauded Gandhi’s reaction to the controversy. “It is impressive that a mainstream politician like @RahulGandhi is taking this clear & progressive stand on freedom of expression & censorship. Also it’s gracious & mature that he is able to set aside the personal for the larger goal of democratic rights. #CreditWhereDue,” Swara wrote in her tweet.
Sacred Games has received positive reviews from critics and boasts an 86% rating on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. Talks of a season 2 have already been swirling around the internet.