Every neighbourhood society has a governing body that kind of oversees everything that’s going on. They’re usually made of really old people who are privileged as f*ck and can technically do anything with their life if they put their minds to it. But they usually don’t do that and go after young people who are just minding their own business and irritate the hell out of them until they leave, which they see as a victory? On a completely unrelated note, content providers and online news portals are going to regulated by the Government of India.
Centre issues notification bringing online films and audio-visual programmes & online news and current affairs content under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
President has approved amendment in Government of India Allocation of Business Rules to this effect. pic.twitter.com/YOOXRBq5WL
— The Leaflet (@TheLeaflet_in) November 11, 2020
According to NDTV, last year Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar had said that the government will never do anything to curb media freedom but there is a need for some kind of regulation on over-the-top platforms (OTT), as there is for the print and electronic media as well as films. Cut to 2020 and the government has issued an order to bring online news portals and content providers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video under the watchful eyes of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
As of now, there is no law or autonomous body governing digital content. The Press Council of India takes care of the print media. The News Broadcasters Association takes care of the news channels. The Advertising Standards Council of India looks after adverting. And the Central Board of Film Certification monitors films (We know all about that, don’t we?). Last month, the Supreme Court had sought the centre’s response on a petition for regulating OTT platforms. In a separate case, the top court had asked for the appointing of a committee of persons as amicus before laying down guidelines with respect to the regulation of hate speech in the media.
Now, many Government-loving individuals will be quite happy with this because now they don’t have to worry about their fragile sentiments getting hurt. But my problem is that whenever the Government puts its hands into independent platforms, they make a mess of it. And not just that, they always favour those that gas them up. The most recent example is that of Arnab Goswami, who got public support from Union Ministers despite being arrested for a cast of abetment of suicide. Why? Well, go and take a look at his channel, Republic. The same can be said for propaganda films/TV shows versus normal films/TV shows and how the Government has favoured one over the other. What they’ll do this time is pretty predictable but let’s see and hope that the government’s regulation doesn’t turn into bullying.
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