In the last few months, streaming services have been responding to a push by the government and right-wing groups for regulation by equivocating. That equivocation has come in many forms: a code to set some baseline norms that prevent terrorist content and insults to state symbols, among other things; lip service to parental controls on streaming platforms; and a Digital Content Complaints Committee, pushed by some companies, to deal with complaints and penalise OTT platforms. Of course, the issue has never been that kids will see some nudity on-screen — push for regulation is heavily political. And Railways Minister Piyush Goyal made that clear on Saturday, in remarks during FICCI e-FRAMES 2020 first reported by Mint. "I certainly don't want my child growing up to be exposed to some of the stuff that I see on a lot of channels and a lot of international transmissions that come into our homes," Goyal said, referring to OTT platforms. "[There is a] lot of very poor portrayal of India and Indian society that is reflected." Citing content that featured drugs, Goyal said that there are challenges in "allow[ing] global content to resonate indiscriminately" in India. It's the culture, stupid Goyal makes the anxieties of the conservative right with OTT platforms crystal clear: it is not (just) about how content is depicted on screen, but about the themes that storytellers, both Indian and international, choose to explore. The guardrails the OTT industry is proposing don't even remotely satisfy such concerns. We have argued…
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