NEW DELHI (Reuters) – An Indian state on Sunday asked police to investigate after a member of the country’s ruling party objected to scenes in the Netflix series A Suitable Boy, in which a Hindu girl accepts a Muslim boy against the backdrop of a Hindu temple.
The series is based on an English-language novel written by Vikram Seth, one of India’s leading writers, and follows a young girl’s search for a husband. Directed by the famous Indian director, Mira Nair.
“These are deeply objectionable scenes that offend the sentiments of a particular religion,” Narutam Mishra, the interior minister of the central state of Madhya Pradesh, said on Twitter.
“I have directed police officers to test this controversial content” to determine “legal action that can be taken against the film’s producer and director for harming religious sentiments.”
Gaurav Tiwari, the leader of the youth wing of India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, who also rules Madhya Pradesh, filed a separate complaint against Netflix and warned against street protests by Hindus if the series was not removed from the platform. .
A Netflix India spokesperson declined to comment on the police complaint. Reuters was unable to contact Nair.
Social media commentators say the range of creative freedom is narrowing in India, especially when it comes to any portrayal of relations between Hindus and Muslims.
Many Indians have taken to Twitter to demand a boycott of Netflix, which considers India to be one of the most promising growth markets, but where its shows have faced legal challenges.
Last month, a unit of India’s Tata Group pulled a jewelry ad featuring a Hindu Muslim family celebrating a baby shower, after threats to one of its stores and widespread criticism on social media.
Earlier this month, the Indian government announced rules to regulate content on video streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Walt Disney’s Hotstar.