By Durga Chakravarty
New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) Actor Abhay Deol, who has made his digital debut with “Chopsticks”, feels censorship on the over-the-top (OTT) platforms would be a “futile exercise”. He finds it baffling how sexuality is considered more offensive than violence as far as the OTT content is concerned.
In May, the a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre while hearing a petition seeking framing of guidelines to regulate the functioning of online media streaming platforms, like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Asked about censorship on digital platforms, Abhay told IANS, “It’s a futile exercise. If you have to be thorough in censoring content, you would have to censor the Internet. What you get to see in our films, you can see far worse than that online. If you see a naked woman’s body in a film, you can see pornography too.”
The 43-year-old actor, who opened the floodgates for the quirky alternative cinema in Bollywood with films like “Dev.D”, “Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!”, “Manorama Six Feet Under” and “Road, Movie”, said nudity was used in films to make a point, not sex.
“It could be beyond sexuality. It could be something very different. You can’t do that in a porn film, for example, which is all about sex. If you are talking about censorship, first of all, it baffles me how sexuality seems to be far more offensive than violence,” said Abhay.
The actor is in favour of age-based certification.
“If you allow your own artistes and filmmakers to explore ideas that might be provocative to you, at least set up a dialogue. The best way to contain that is by giving a certificate. Thus, people can use their discretion and judge what they want to watch and treat them with maturity.”
Abhay asserted that even if content was censored by “clipping the wings”, it would not hold back the people from watching “sex and violence, available online”.
“Three things that go through a human mind when they see something new are: ‘Can I eat it? Can I have sex with it? Is it dangerous?’. That’s natural to mind, because all these things are crucial for survival.
“As soon as you suppress one thing and try keep sexuality away from people, they all are going to be obsessed with sex. I don’t see it as a bad thing. I just see it as it is. You perceive it as perversion simply because you are told or taught that it’s bad.”
(Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at [email protected])