Filmmakers Hansal Mehta and Pritish Nandy Friday questioned the NCPRC’s objection to Netflix series “Bombay Begums”, wondering if it is another assault on creative freedom of filmmakers.
In a notice to Netflix on Thursday, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) asked the streamer to stop streaming the show citing inappropriate portrayal of children in the web series.
The apex child rights body has asked the OTT platform to furnish a detailed action report within 24 hours, failing which it said it will be constrained to initiate appropriate legal action.
The Netflix show, created by Alankrita Shrivastava, is the latest OTT series to be plagued by controversy.
Most recently, Amazon Prime Video series “Tandav” caused a political storm as it attracted a huge controversy for a scene depicting a college theatrical programme, leading to allegations that the show hurt religious sentiments and multiple FIRs.
Taking to Twitter, Mehta asked, “Do these people spend all their time watching OTT shows or do they actually work for child rights?”
Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha replied on Mehta’s post and said, “They are doing their ‘job’. We are not doing ours. This too shall ‘not’ pass.”
Nandy also criticised the NCPRC’s notice to Netflix and “Bombay Begums” makers.
“When will this stop? This constant demand for content to be changed or pulled off the screen! Is all creative freedom under siege?” he tweeted.
“Why don’t we simply ban everything. Would make life easier for everyone,” he wrote in another post.
Actor Sulagna Chatterjee asked people to speak up in support of the show’s makers.
“Speak up, stand with #BombayBegums, people. Don’t let these bullies and honking-loudspeakers of ‘culture saviours’ silence our artistic integrity, please,” she wrote.
However, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri defended NCPCR, saying that it is a “crime” to show teenagers being involved in “drug usage, violence or perversion”.
“Be it fiction or fact. Why pervert makers and executives in these OTTs are paid millions if they can’t see this. Or do they do it deliberately?#BombayBegums” he wrote.
“So OTTs realised that adults have issue with perversion so they shifted their focus on children. #BombayBegums” he said in another post.
“Bombay Begums” delves into the lives of five women from different sections of society who all want different things in life.
The show features an ensemble cast of Pooja Bhatt, Shahana Goswami, Amruta Subhash, Plabita Borthakur and Aadhya Anand.
It started streaming on Netflix from March 8.