After all, how much freedom does an art need to excel, and then in the name of ‘creative freedom’ can any civilized society allow an art or an artist to be free from the purview of any discipline?
Film director Anurag Kashyap said in a seminar, “We can’t even think of pronouncing it on the big screen in Hindi, a word that we speak freely in English. This is the ‘hypocracy’ (hypocrisy) of Hindi society. In fact, what Anurag calls Hippocracy, it is the beauty of Hindi society, which is more or less sustained on the strength of its customs, traditions, and that too by being disciplined. After all, how much freedom does an art need to excel, and then in the name of ‘creative freedom’ can any civilized society allow an art or an artist to be free from the purview of any discipline?
Over the years, the way OTT platforms ridiculed ‘creative freedom’, the need to bring it under control was felt by all sections of the society. Before the Corona period, due to its reach to a limited section, the society and the government were completely neutral towards this latest art form. Due to this neutrality, it got the freedom to develop on the ground of social animosity. It was also natural as it still has its roots in Hollywood today. In the flurry of copying, the OTT platform does not understand the need to understand the difference of cultures. The difficulty came when due to the closure of cinema halls and no new programs on TV during the Corona period, it made its reach to the common man as the most important medium of entertainment.
It was evident that the pressure on the government to control this medium increased, and the government announced a guideline to organize this medium. The instructions also did not mention any pre-censorship before broadcast leaving the entire accountability to the OTT owners. It is natural that the Supreme Court has described this law as nail-biting. In fact, the way OTT content reaches millions of viewers at once, and there is a facility to download and store it, post-censorship is meaningless. On the one hand, the voice of ‘creative freedom’, on the other hand the strictness of the Supreme Court, the challenge before the government will be the formulation of balanced guidelines. It will be interesting to see in the coming days, whether the OTT platform continues its orgy, finding some way out of its freedom from the rules, or we may get to see more Bandish Bandits.
(The author is a National Film Award winning art critic)