Boycott culture vitiates atmosphere: Anurag Thakur

Mumbai: Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday deplored the “boycott culture” targeting certain films and said such instances vitiate the atmosphere at a time when India is keen to enhance its influence as a soft power.
In case someone has a problem with a movie, they should talk to the concerned government department which can take up the issue with the filmmakers, he said.

“At a time when India is keen to enhance its influence as a soft power, at a time when Indian films are making waves in every corner of the world, such talk vitiates the atmosphere,” Thakur told reporters here responding to questions on boycott of films by various interest groups.
The minister’s remarks come at a time when Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Pathaan”, which released on Wednesday, is facing boycott calls over one of its songs.
In the past, actor Akshay Kumar’s “Samrat Prithviraj”, Aamir Khan’s “Laal Singh Chaddha” and Deepika Padukone’s “Padmaavat” had faced boycott calls.
“If someone has a problem (with a film), then they should talk to the concerned department which will take it up with the producer and director,” Thakur said.
“But sometimes, just to vitiate the atmosphere, some people comment on something even before knowing about it fully. That causes problems. This should not happen,” he said.
Thakur is in Mumbai to inaugurate the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Film Festival that will showcase 58 movies from the regional grouping of eight Eurasian nations. SCO observer countries and dialogue partners have sent entries in the non-competition section of the film festival.
The minister also made a strong pitch for creative autonomy and said there were adequate safeguards in place for monitoring content on over-the-top (OTT) platforms.
“There should be no restrictions on creativity,” Thakur said.
He said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting does receive complaints about the content on OTT platforms, but almost 95 per cent 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.
The minister said only one per cent of complaints reach the inter-departmental committee and it is ensured that strict action is taken in such cases.

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