Centre bans Pakistan-based OTT platform Vidly TV for 'anti-India' web series

Updated on Dec 12, 2022 10:17 PM IST

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB), in its order, stated that the web series aired on the OTT Platform “was found to be detrimental to national security, sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, India’s friendly relations with foreign States, and public order in the country".

Centre bans Vidly TV OTT platform app aired "Sevak: The Confessions" web series.(screengrab /Vidly TV)
Centre bans Vidly TV OTT platform app aired "Sevak: The Confessions" web series.(screengrab /Vidly TV)
By | Edited by Aniruddha Dhar

The Centre on Monday, under the IT Rules 2021, blocked the website, two mobile applications, four social media accounts, and one smart TV app of Pakistan-based OTT Platform Vidly TV for showing anti-India content in its recently released web series "Sevak: The Confessions."

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB), in its order, stated that the web series aired on the OTT Platform “was found to be detrimental to national security, sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, India’s friendly relations with foreign States, and public order in the country".

The ministry has highlighted several objectionable content present in the web series, based on which it has taken this decision.

1) The order reads that the opening credits of the web series show the Ashok Chakra of the Indian flag on fire.

2) The web series, the Centre says, presents a distorted version of sensitive historical events pertaining to India.

“The web-series portrayed an anti-India narrative on sensitive historical events and subjects of national importance, e.g. Operation Blue Star and its aftermath, demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya, killing of a Christian missionary named Graham Staines, Malegaon blasts, Samjhauta Express blasts, inter-state river water dispute related to Sutlej Yamuna Link canal, etc.”

3) The ministry said the OTT platform promotes hatred in the people against the government of India.

It highlights several dialogues: The passing of wounds by the Sikh people to the next generations in the context of Operation Blue Star; the Indian state being against the interests of the Muslim community, all Indian political parties being hand-in-glove in the demolition of Babri Masjid.

In another example, quoted in the order, a visual portrays an Indian television news channel showing “Muslims, Sikhs and Christians are India’s internal threat, says Home Minister”.

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4) The web series “Sevak: The Confessions,” is accused of “promoting separatism, disaffection, and disenchantment among the Sikh community towards India.”

The Centre said operation Blue Star was depicted as a “massacre” of “innocent Sikhs”. It added that the situations in Punjab, after Operation Blue Star, were maliciously shown with strong communal tones, illustrating the violence and police action as being inspired by religious reasons. “All policemen in Punjab are depicted without turbans, sending a message that non-Sikh policemen labeled the Sikh population as Khalistani terrorists,” the ministry said.

5) According to the order, the web series was intended to sow hatred and division among Indian communities.

“In one scene, a Hindu priestess is shown to be declaring that the Hindu children have to grow up to 'kill' Muslims, Christians, and Sikhs, and cleanse the motherland from their 'filthy' existence", the government said.

“Another scene claims that Scheduled Castes are being forced to remain Hindus. Using religious symbols, anti-Sikh riots of 1984 were shown to be an assault by Hindus against Sikhs,” the order added.

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