As the controversy escalated, officials of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting held a meeting with the producers of the series and it was decided to remove the disputed scene. With this, Tandava became the first web series whose content had to be removed. The film director has also apologized for the disputed scenes.
There were disputes over two scenes of Tandava. The first controversy is about a scene from the first episode of the series. The second controversy is about a scene from the eighth episode of the series. The government removed both scenes. After this action, the discussion of the legal provisions of the government has intensified.
Actually, there is no law and no rules for the regulation of OTT platforms in India. Print and radio are subject to different laws. OTT is a social media and digital media platform. In November, the government asked the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to monitor all OTT and digital news platform content.
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has prepared a model of self-regulation regarding the OTT platform. But the government has also asked for a code of self-regulation for OTT platforms. If the OTT platforms do not do so, the government will prepare the Code.
This is not the first time that an OTT series has been disputed. Earlier there was a controversy over Netflix’s ‘Suitable Boy’. An FIR was then lodged in Madhya Pradesh. There was also a case of objection to the Lara ‘Gunjan Saxena’ film of the Ministry of Defense. An FIR was also registered regarding ‘Sacred Games’. In February, Hotstar blocked the American show ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ due to criticism over Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
How to regulate now
There is an authority for the regulation of all media platforms in India. The Press Council of India is regularized by the print media. The TV news channel is regularized by the ‘News Broadcast Association’. TV Advertising is governed by the Advertising Standards Council of India. The Central Board of Film Certification, that is, the Censor Board, regulates films.
The OTT platform is a kind of social media and digital media platform, for which there is no regulatory mechanism at present. The Internet and Mobile Association of India has a model of self-regulation regarding the OTT platform. It was signed by 15 large OTT platforms on September 7, 2020.
It talked about the self-regulation of OTT platforms. The Self Regulation Code requires age rules, material details, and parental control.
The intervention of the Supreme Court
A petition was filed in the Supreme Court in October 2020. It said that the content of the OTT platform is open to the public without checking. On this, the Supreme Court said that why some arrangements have not been made to regulate the OTT platform? After this, the Central Government issued a guideline on 11 November.