An FIR (First Information Report) has been registered by the Madhya Pradesh Police against two senior executives of Netflix India.
This follows a scene from the streaming platform’s original series, 'A Suitable Boy'. The scene shows a Hindu girl kissing a Muslim boy in a temple and has allegedly hurt religious sentiments.
According to media reports, the FIR has named Monika Shergill, vice president, content, Netflix, and Ambika Khurana, director, public policies, Netflix.
Media reports add that the duo are charged by the Rewa police on a complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) national secretary Gaurav Tiwari. Tiwari has demandied an apology from Netflix and the series’ makers, further asking that the scenes be removed.
On Sunday, "#BoycottNetflix" was trending on Twitter in India. On that day, Narottam Mishra, the minister of home affairs in the Government of Madhya Pradesh, said on Twitter that he had "asked the police to examine this controversial content."
"This has extremely objectionable content which hurts the sentiments of people of a particular religion," said Mishra, who is a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "I have requested authorities to examine why, and with what intentions this program and this theme has been restarted on [streaming] platforms," he said.
This development comes at a contentious time for Netflix--and other OTT providers--in India. The Indian federal government has recently announced stricter norms to govern these platforms, regulating them more like traditional television channels.
Netflix, whuch has invested in the region of $400 million in India, will be keen to find a way through this regulatory haze, as it seeks to cement its position in a fast-growing market.
Netflix is yet to issue a statement on this matter.