The ‘boycott culture’ targetting certain films depraves the atmosphere at a time when India is keen to enhance its influence as soft power, said Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur on Friday.
“It sends a wrong message and corrupts the atmosphere when Indian films are making waves across the globe,” he said.
Mr. Thakur, who was in Mumbai to inaugurate the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Film Festival, said that if someone has a problem with a movie, they should approach the censor boards which can take up the issue with producers and directors.
The Minister’s comments come as Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone-starrer film ‘Pathaan’, which earned ₹219 crore worldwide in two days, is facing boycott calls by various groups over one of its songs.
Festival to open with Priyadarshan movie
Mr. Thakur said the five-day film festival will be opened by screening Padma Shri and national award-winning filmmaker Priyadarshan’s Tamil movie Appatha.
“As many as 58 international films from 14 countries will be screened during the festival. SCO observer countries and dialogue partners have sent entries in the non-competition section of the film festival,” the Union Minister said.
He said the film festival is a platform to engage and collaborate to showcase the diversity of films and film-making in the SCO region and the time has come to come together and co-create films that reflect the Indian cultures.
“India is the world’s largest film-making country and over the years we have seen how India as a country has had an impact on the world. Raj Kapoor’s Mera Naam Joker or Mithun Chakraborty’s I Am A Disco Dancer shows a lot about the impact of the Indian cinema industry across the world,” he said. He added that cinema says timeless tales of a nation in transition, and India is targetting to be the content hub of the world.
The Minister also made a strong pitch for creative autonomy and said there were adequate safeguards in place for monitoring content on OTT platforms and there should be no restrictions on creativity.
“We get complaints about the content on OTT platforms, but almost 95% of grievances are settled at the level of producers and the others get resolved at the second stage of the association of publishers of the content. Only 1% of complaints reach the inter-departmental committee and it is ensured that strict action is taken in such cases,” the Union Minister added.