The Ministry of Defence has written to the Central Board of Film Certification, commonly known as the censor board, asking it to ensure that producers of movies or web series on the Indian Army get a No Objection Certificate from the ministry before telecasting the film or series, The Print reported on Friday.
The defence ministry’s letter was prompted by producer Ekta Kapoor’s show on video-streaming platform ALT Balaji, which allegedly “distorted” the Army’s image. But the censor board does not have the mandate to regulate content on video-streaming platforms, with its role restricted to films released in theatres and television channels.
“It has been brought to the notice of this Ministry that some production houses, making films on Army theme, are using contents which are distorting the image of the Indian Army,” the letter said. “Therefore, the producers of movies/web series etc. based on Army theme may be advised to obtain the ‘NOC’ from the Ministry of Defence before the telecast of any movie/documentary on Army theme in public domain.”
In June, Bigg Boss 13 contestant Hindustani Babu filed a police complaint against producer Ekta Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor for “disrespecting” the Army in their show, XXX Uncensored, Season 2. XXX Uncensored is an erotic comedy-drama that focuses on five different stories, and explores different aspects of relationships. The first episode of XXX Uncensored was telecast on September 27, 2018.
The defence ministry had also received some other complaints about the portrayal of the Army in shows such as XXX Uncensored and Zee 5’s Code M, PTI reported. The defence ministry letter has also been sent to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for their perusal.
Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal had last month expressed concern over unregulated OTT platforms. Goyal had said the content on these platforms is “sometimes objectionable, contains misinformation, portrays poorly our country and society, and is just not worth watching with family”.