Ministry of Defence issues letter to CBFC, asks Production Houses to seek NoC

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As a much needed move, the Ministry of Defence issues letter to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC); the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology; and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to advise the production houses to obtain NOC from them before putting any film/documentary/web series in public domain. The letter was sent by the Ministry of Defence on July 27, 2020.

This step has been taken after the Ministry received several complaints regarding the distorted and malignant portrayal of Indian Defence Forces and their personnel over the Over-the-top (OTT) Platform.

Letter issued by the Ministry of Defence

The letter says, “It has been brought to the notice of this Ministry that some production houses, making films on Army theme, are using contents which are distorting the image of the Indian Army. Therefore, the producers of movies/web series etc based on Army theme may be advised to obtain the ‘NOC’ from Ministry of Defence before the telecast of any movie/documentary on Army in public domain. They may also be advised to ensure that any incident which distorts the image of Defence forces or hurts their sentiment may be prevented.”

It may be noted here that the subject of the letter clearly mentions the “Depiction of Indian Army Personnel and Military uniform in a distorted manner in ‘XXX Uncensored (Season2) web series- regarding”.

There was a huge backlash towards this episode of ALT Balaji Productions, wherein the Indian Military Personnel and their uniform were demonstrated in highly unacceptable and absurd manner. Some ex-servicemen associations had lodged a case against the production house and the OTT Platform seeking a legal action to be taken. However, the episode in question was later removed by the platform after receiving the flak.

It is needless to say that with the increased OTT platforms, the media content remains unbridled. It was, therefore, the need of the moment that this content be reined so that sentiments of no one is hurt. It may be noted that Bollywood movies on Military theme already go through a mandatory clearance process.