Goyal calls for self-regulation within the entertainment industry on content

Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday called on the entertainment industry to self-regulate program content on TVs and over-the-top (OTT) platforms as some of it goes beyond acceptable standards in the cultural landscape Indian.

He said some form of self-regulation and some level of decency in the presentation of India, Indian families and Indian culture must be present.

“I believe there is a need for some form of self-regulation within the media and entertainment industry. On the one hand, we talk about our culture, our rich heritage, our heritage, our family value systems, and on the “other than some of what we see on television and OTT platforms certainly goes beyond the standards normally acceptable within the Indian cultural landscape,” the minister said.

He wondered if any of the Indian families used the kind of language that is sometimes reflected in some of these OTT shows.

“I don’t know if it helps sell your product better. ‘India, Indian families and Indian culture is something the masters of this industry should also ‘play a part’ in.

He said some of that content would never be acceptable when shown in a film, hence why it would be acceptable on an OTT platform.

“And then if you don’t self-regulate, there would be an uproar from society that, (so) government will have to regulate. So I think it’s important that everyone participates in an effort to make your industry more palatable and really bring in value prepositions “, he added.

Goyal advised that content messaging should not be disconnected from Indian reality.

“I think this will also help the industry in its engagement with the law and with new ideas,” he said.

That content may be accepted in the international market, but “I think at home, some level of what is acceptable should be the norm, not the exception,” the minister said.

Talking about the growth of the sector, the trade minister said there is a lot of potential.

He expressed concern about India’s share (less than one percent) in the global media and entertainment market.

He said industry and government should work together to propel growth in the sector.

The government, he said, would work to streamline processes to facilitate filming at locations as diverse as monuments and beaches in India.

He also called for industry to provide minimum wages, health protection and some sort of social security coverage to support staff for a better quality of life.

Further into the online gaming industry, Goyal said that there are some issues of concern there such as “at what level and extent, we would like to have the game” in this country.

“Are we willing and happy for the next generation to be fully engaged in gambling or engaging in money on various gaming platforms? This is another question that requires deep thought,” he said.

The minister suggested that industry experts should suggest ways to ensure this doesn’t lead to an addiction or ruin society.

The minister was speaking at the CII’s Big Picture Summit here.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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