Communalism

MP: Home Minister Says Netflix's 'A Suitable Boy' Hurts Religious Sentiments

A BJP youth leader had earlier filed a police complaint against a Hindu-Muslim relationship depicted in the show, and a kissing scene on the premises of a temple.

New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Mishra has said that Netflix miniseries A Suitable Boy depicts “extremely objectionable content” hurting religious sentiments. He has directed the police officials to see if legal action can be taken against the producer and the director of the over-the-top (OTT) series.

Taking to Twitter, Mishra said, “A film titled ‘A Suitable Boy’ has been released on an OTT platform. It depicts extremely objectionable scenes that hurt the feelings of a particular religion. I have directed police officials to look into it.”

Mishra’s statement comes a day after a BJP youth leader, Gaurav Tiwari, had lodged a complaint with Rewa SP, Rakesh Kumar Singh, calling for action against the makers of the series, and demanded a first information report (FIR) be registered against them. The police are yet to initiate action.

The complainant, Tiwari, said he is objected to a particular scene where two characters, played by Tanya Maniktala and Danesh Razvi, a Hindu and Muslim, kissing on a temple premises. Tiwari also appealed to people at large on Twitter to uninstall Netflix from their phones, as #BoycottNetflix began to trend on Twitter.

Watch: Award-Winning Filmmaker Mira Nair on Her BBC One TV Series ‘A Suitable Boy’

The latest controversy comes at a time when BJP-ruling states, including Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana, have expressed concern over “rising” love jihad cases, and vowed to bring laws to stem the rise of such incidents.

Madhya Pradesh, for its part, has already brought to the fore the Dharma Swatantrya (Freedom of Religion) Bill, 2020, which proposes five years of rigorous imprisonment in cases where a person is forcibly converted by deploying fraudulent means for the sake of marriage. The bill also aims to make the offence non-bailable.

Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Gaurav Goel, without specifically mentioning A Suitable Boy called people at large to file a police complaint under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code if any OTT platform deliberately insults Hindu gods and goddess.

The BBC miniseries A Suitable Boy is based on 1993 Vikram Seth’s novel by the same name. It is directed by Mira Nair and adapted to screen by Andrew Davies. It is set in north India of 1951 and follows the life of Lata, a spirited university student.