oppn parties Biopic On Modi: Film Banned, Web Series Running

News Snippets

  • The Army conducts an operational alert exercise in eastern Ladakh
  • The IAF reopened the Vijaynagar advance landing ground, an airstrip in Arunachal Pradesh near the Chinese border
  • Amit Shah says he never sought to impose Hindi
  • Government bans the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in India
  • Mamata Banerjee seeks an appointment with Home Minister Amit Shah today
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee meets PM Modi in what she later described as a government-to-government meeting
  • Supreme Court sets a deadline of October 18 for completing the hearings in the Ayodhya case
  • Pakistan rejects India's request for use of its airspace when PM Modi flies to the US later this week
  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
Biopic On Modi: Film Banned, Web Series Running

By Linus Garg

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.
It is surprising that the Election Commission has delayed the release of the film PM Narendra Modi until after the elections and yet not taken any action against the web series Modi that is being aired on the digital platform Eros Now. The series is also being advertised on the digital media.

This amounts to discrimination against one medium. It also makes a complete mockery of the ban order since the content and the idea behind both the film and the web series are exactly similar. Only the medium, the producers, the cast and the crew are different.

It can be argued that the viewership of the web series is limited whereas the film would have been released across the country on more than 3000 screens. Also, the publicity for the film would have meant that one party and its leader would have got huge free publicity over all mediums. But if the idea is to prevent voters from being influenced, then the principle should be applied similarly to everything irrespective of how many voters are influenced.

The Trinamool Congress has already raised this issue with the EC. With the internet being increasingly accessed on mobile phones, web series are becoming the preferred mode of entertainment viewing for a large number of Indians. The convenience of viewing wherever one wants to – during the commute from office to home or vice versa, for instance – is making it even more popular. Hence, if the film is banned, ideally the web series must also be taken off.

But as the mediums have multiplied, it is becoming impossible for the EC to keep track of things. If someone were to show the banned film on a YouTube channel, two hours is all it will take for thousands of people to see it. There will also be hundreds of downloads in that period. These downloads will be shared and the very purpose of banning the film will be defeated. What action will the EC take if the film is burned on CDs and distributed free to voters by unidentified people?