Information and Broadcasting minister Anurag Singh Thakur condemned the “boycott culture” targeting certain films and said such incidents poison the atmosphere at a time when India is keen to enhance its influence as a soft power. In case someone has a problem with a movie, they should talk to the concerned government department which can take up the issue with the filmmakers, he said.
When asked about the boycott of Indian films by various interest groups, Thakur told reporters: “At a time when India is keen to enhance its influence as a soft power, at a time when Indian films are making waves in every corner of the world, such talk vitiates the atmosphere.”
The minister’s remarks come at a time when Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Pathaan”, which released on Wednesday, is facing boycott calls over one of its songs.
Aamir Khan’s “Laal Singh Chaddha,” Akshay Kumar’s “Samrat Prithviraj,” and Deepika Padukone’s “Padmaavat” all previously received boycott requests.
“If someone has a problem with a film, then they should talk to the concerned department which will take it up with the producer and director,” Thakur said.
“But sometimes, just to vitiate the atmosphere, some people comment on something even before knowing about it fully. That causes problems. This should not happen,” he said.
Thakur is in Mumbai to inaugurate the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Film Festival that will showcase 58 movies from the regional grouping of eight Eurasian nations. SCO observer countries and dialogue partners have sent entries in the non-competition section of the film festival.
The minister also made a strong pitch for creative autonomy and said there were adequate safeguards in place for monitoring content on over-the-top (OTT) platforms. “There should be no restrictions on creativity,” Thakur said.
He claimed that while the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting does get complaints about the material on OTT platforms, about 95% of those issues are resolved at the producer level, with the remaining 20% being resolved at the second level of the association of content providers.
According to the minister, just 1% of complaints make it to the interdepartmental committee, and in such situations stern action is guaranteed to be done.