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The Netflix homepage | Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg
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Netflix received a lot of social media ‘love’ Friday with Twitter users making the hashtag ‘BanNetflixIndia’ trend. The US streaming service was criticised for being “Hindu-phobic” days after Ramesh Solanki, a member of Shiv Sena IT Cell, filed a complaint alleging Netflix is “defaming Hindus and India through shows hosted on its platform.” Solanki particularly targeted the shows Sacred Games, Leila and Ghoul for their negative portrayal of Hindus, India and the Army.

 

Several verified Twitter personalities joined the tirade, including Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Bagga, who had himself earlier filed a police complaint against Sacred Games director Anurag Kashyap for “intentionally hurting Sikh sentiments”. Bagga was referring to a scene in the show in which actor Saif Ali Khan, who portrays a Sikh cop, takes off his Kada and throws it into the sea.

The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, in fact, threatened to sue the show’s makers if the scene was not deleted.

This isn’t the first time that Rightwing Hindu activists have taken offence to shows centred around India, but they conveniently ignore the streaming platform’s variety of shows that have nothing to do with religion or the establishment in any way, or actively portray them positively.

So, while Ghoul and Leila have been blamed for portraying the armed forces in bad light, the same platform’s Delhi Crime showed the Delhi police’s investigation of the December 2012 bus gang rape in Delhi, in great light. It highlighted the promptness with which the police carried out the investigation and caught the rapists, to the point where it was actually criticised for seeming like a PR exercise for the cops.

Solanki also complained about American comedian Hasan Minaj’s show, The Patriot Act. Minaj’s show, however, is an American one, in which he offers commentary on various global and US-centric issues, not only India.

Sacred Games was accused of focusing on violence that was manifesting from the undercurrents of pro-Hindutva sentiment. On the other hand, Netflix has also made available Ramayana, the iconic series from the 90s. In addition, shows and movies on Jhansi ki Rani, Buddha, Tukaram, even the Mahabharata, quite evidently celebrate the rich Indian history that Netflix has been accused of defaming.

Solanki’s complaint also said that Sacred Games, apart from portraying babas as self-absorbed individuals using dharma as a business, means that Netflix is tainting the image of the relationship between a guru and a shishya. However, Netflix’s series on Baba Ramdev, Swami Ramdev: Ek Sangharsh, cancels that argument.

Perhaps Mr Solanki and the tens of thousands of people who blindly tweeted #BanNetflixIndia should actually watch the shows it offers (Netflix and chill, if you will) before rushing to tweet about how Hinduism is in danger.


Also read: Netflix’s rival, Ekta Kapoor’s ALTBalaji hopes to make profits through low-cost web shows


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9 Comments Share Your Views

9 COMMENTS

  1. I loved the reply bcoz Netflix is a subscription based app. If you don’t want it, don’t fcking buy it morons. Hail only India, no religion!

  2. “Netflix and chill”? Seriously? Does the author even understand what it means?
    A reputable media organization would not even publish such phrases.

  3. By this absurd logic if you rape a woman and feed her everyday than you will not be accused for rape…. If woman will charge you for rape than these so called liberals will counter her by saying “You are only looking at bad part and ignoring the good food he is feeding you everyday”.

  4. what they showed in Leila is actually happening in Syria and Iraq by ISIS. when are they going to show a real and not dystopian Islamic state Bollywood is full of muslims and urdu-lovers and in past had underworld connections/ISI, so Hindus are actually not surprised. my request to govt would be to bring a legislation to regulate OTT. they should not be allowed to make profits by defaming our Army, religion and nation. enough is enough.

  5. Illogical argument. Does Netflix have the guts to produce and host ill effects of triple talaq on muslim women. Till it hosts shows highlighting the horrible practices among Muslims and other religions, they will be considered Hindu phoebic

  6. Please visit a psychiatrist! The shows you have mentioned are not produced by Netflix and are available since the time when their was no Netflix.
    Whatever Netflix produces till now is clearly disrespecting multiple cultures and religions in India and supporting a specific one.

  7. So wait a second. If I make one show where Muslims are shown in good light, does it give me a license to create islamophobic shows?

  8. What a rubbish article , just naming 1-2 shows with hindu theme does not make Netflix hindulover , Look at budget of hinduphobic shows and marketing which is done on these shows . The print is expert in hiding truth

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