Noting that there is a censor board for films but not for web channels, a BJD MP in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday demanded a law to bring in censorship for OTT platforms and web channels to cull out obscene scenes and content spreading religious hatred. Raising the issue in the House through a zero hour mention, Biju Janata Dal’s Prasanna Acharya said OTT platforms had gained unprecedented viewership during the pandemic when traditional entertainment sources were hugely impacted due to restrictions.
”Taking advantage of this, web channels are showing very obscene pictures and sometimes using very objectionable language… (this) is having a very bad impact, particularly on the younger generation,” he said. Such shows on web channels are also seriously affecting communal harmony as India is a multi-language and multi-religious society, he said.
”If there was a censorship provision, this could not have happened,” he said, adding that there is a censor board for films but not for web channels.
”In the name of freedom of creativity and in the name of expression of views, we cannot encourage debauchery and exploitation of women and disrespecting religious sentiments,” he said.
Acharya mentioned the Delhi High Court’s recent strictures against microblogging platform Twitter for allowing objectional comments against religious communities, creating an atmosphere of intolerance.
”Law should be made to impose censorship on web channels who are taking undue advantage of not being censored and spreading hatred among religions and communities,” he added.
Vijay Pal Singh Tomar (BJP) wanted lifting of the ban on some pesticides as there was no alternative available for them and costly imports were not as effective.
Neeraj Dangi (Congress) raised the issue of all sportspersons not being allowed to import tax-free air guns of 0.77 inches 4.5 mm calibre bore.
Only renowned shooters are allowed duty-free or GST-free import of air weapons, which is impacting the training of upcoming sportspersons, he said.
”The import of air weapons which do not require to be registered for arms licence should be allowed for all the citizens who are seriously adopting this sport,” he said, adding that spare parts of these air guns should also be exempt from import taxes.
M Shanmugham (DMK) demanded the convening of the Indian Labour Conference which has not been held since 2015, to discuss labour matters.
He said all 12 recognised trade unions have given a call for early convening of the meeting.
Narendra Jadhav (Nominated) wanted the government to conduct a survey to find out the state of international medal-winning sportspersons and extend them recognisation and social and employment security.
Jharna Das Baidya (CPM) raised the issue of large scale timber smuggling and migration in Tripura, Santanu Sen (TMC) need for better health services and education for adolescent women.