Cyrus Oshidar speaks on web entertainment, web censorship and Sacred Games controversy

The recent controversy over Netflix original Sacred Games has again brought into focus the question of overdose of sex, abuse and violence on web. Now, politics has waded into the mix with workers of a political party filing cases against the makers for alleged distortion of facts.

In this scenario, we spoke to former MTV guy Cyrus Oshidar, who now owns 101 India, which creates alternative engaging content (Dinner With The Dons, and Koovagam etc).

He first took head on the question of whether there is an overdose of sleaze on web. “Talking in normal generalizing terms perhaps it is. Agreed there were more love making scenes in Sacred Games than most films which I did not find dirty, anti national or any other stupid name for it was part of the narrative.   Web is an evolving space where the audience although being mature like the makers sometimes are held back by vested interests and stupid people doing silly things.”

Quite straight-forward thoughts, indeed.

He continued: “Demand always balances things out, I hope this  leads to  more progressive, edgier and contemporary content   for if you only want sex,  there are enough porn sites, including  c grade desi ones as well.”

Given the nature of our society, which is very touchy about sex and politics, was the uproar over Sacred Games only expected?

“Although I did not find it controversial, when I first saw it I expected some noise, Kuch  To  Log  Kahenge… right? See, you can look at from all sides.  Would it not be better, if we just took this as something made for our entertainment?  All this hullabaloo only end ups making us look petty and small minded. A lot of the above drama is done just on political whim. Mind you, I am not naming any particular party/ideology.  Sadly, we have been reduced to a country which gives political color to every issue. Problems happens when you politicize things in country like India where you have all types of outlooks, both    regressive and progressive”

But will this Sacred Games issue throw open web to censorship?

“Well, I wonder how they will pull it off.  Why should the    govt want to control what its citizens see, eat and wear?   Also, such administrations don’t last, as Indians don’t like to be told to what is to be done. Ideally, all politicians encourage democratic values, which include Freedom of Expression.”

 (sips water and continues)

“However, self censorship is needed which should be confident and not based out of fear, which smacks of complete immaturity.   A strong country is one which can put out all types of content, be it the good, bad and ugly.  People also should be free to comment on it, without resorting to expletives like trolls do.”

We agree, Cyrus. More power to you.

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