A policy paper released by Delhi-based think tank Esya Centre has argued against censorship of content on over-the-top (OTT) platforms. The paper said industry-led benchmarks should be enough to retain creative freedom.
The 30-page paper, titled "Embracing Non-Linearity: The Future of India's Entertainment Industry", was authored by FTII chief Shekhar Kapur, censor board member Vani Tripathi Tikoo, lawyer Akshat Agarwal and public policy expert Vivan Sharan, according to a Hindustan Times report.
"We need to promote creative freedom, which can be done through industry-led standards, as is the practice in countries around the world. This will require active and continued engagement by the industry, as well as recognition and support from the state," the report said.
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The authors said their paper had nothing to do with the government but was intended to provide an understanding of the OTT space.
In November, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting brought OTT platforms under their purview, a move that some say would lead to censorship.
More clarity is awaited on the norms, since the ministry has so far not issued guidelines.
Tikoo, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is also a board member of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). "You can't put the lens of film certification on OTT platforms," she said, as quoted by the publication.
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Tikoo is of the view that the traditional role of a censor board was over.
was published by Delhi-based think tank Esya Centre, Hindustan Times reported.
"In the context of OTT, the industry should be encouraged to come together and standardize, to ensure consumers have all the information and technological controls they need, for making informed decisions about the content they consume," the report said.
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The report also asked Indian content creators to focus on "telling our own stories", adding that Indian culture and "heritage remains underrepresented on the world stage".