Update: The Delhi High Court has extended the ban on airing India’s Daughter till April 15, reports Indiantelevision.com. The court is also looking for an advisory from the ministry of information and broadcasting. Although the documentary can still be found on the Internet.
Previously: It was just a matter of time really, wasn’t it? The Indian government has asked YouTube to remove the BBC documentary about the 2012 Delhi gang-rape called India’s Daughter, which has recently been in the news for all the wrong reasons, reports PTI. The Home Ministry has also reportedly sent the court order prohibiting telecast of the documentary to BBC, which aired the documentary in UK last night, and to all other social media sites.
The documentary, which was slated to be telecast in India on NDTV this Sunday March 8, features an interview with one of the 6 convicted perpetrators Mukesh Singh.
A YouTube spokesperson told Medianama that while they believe that access to information is the foundation of a free society, and that services like YouTube help people express themselves and share different points of view, they will continue to remove content that is illegal or violates their community guidelines, once notified. The spokesperson also mentioned that the law enforcement agencies are required to notify YouTube or other similar platforms with specific URLs to be taken down, in case the content is illegal. So, if specific videos on YouTube currently sport messages that “the content has been blocked due to court order, then yes we have acted as per the court order for those specific video.”
— Mahim Pratap Singh (@mayhempsingh) March 5, 2015
— Pranesh Prakash (@pranesh_prakash) March 5, 2015
YouTube taking prompt action and blocking the URLs provided by the government is understandable as it’s still reeling from the AIB row, earlier this year. YouTube had been named in an FIR in Pune for distributing the controversial AIB Knockout video, along with actors Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Sonakshi Sinha, director Karan Johar and 14 others.
Indian government banning a film in the country isn’t new. The Central Board of Film Certification has today also banned the much talked about film Fifty Shades of Grey. However, the government wanting to prevent telecast of a documentary in other countries as well is quite perplexing to say the least.