A member of the Hindu nationalist party Shiv Sena filed a police complaint accusing U.S.-based streaming giant Netflix of “defaming Hindus and India” via the shows featured on its platform, Indian news outlets learned this week.
Ramesh Solanki, a member of the Shiv Sena IT cell, reportedly urged Indian police to “take necessary legal action” against Netflix for “hurting Hindu sentiments.”
Asian News International (ANI) further noted on Wednesday:
In his complaint given at Mumbai’s LT Marg police station, Solanki has cited examples of series like ‘Sacred Games,’ ‘Laila’ and ‘Ghoul,’ along with shows of standup comedian Hasan Minhaj to accuse Netflix of trying to “paint an incorrect picture of Hindus and India globally.
Solanki argued in the complaint:
Almost every series on Netflix India is with the intention to defame the country on a global level. It is with deep-rooted Hinduphobia that the platform is portraying the nation in a bad light.
I urge the authorities to look into all of the above-mentioned content and take the necessary steps from summoning their team to canceling their licenses as deemed fit. One cannot allow an incorrect generalization based on bogus rhetoric trying to defame a religious minority i.e. Hindu in countries other than India.
Patrick Graham, the writer for Netflix show Leila, has vehemently denied Solanki’s claims. Leila depicts a dystopian future India governed by a totalitarian regime that significantly restricts access to basic resources like water and unpolluted air for the poor.
“Our depictions are purely fictional, and we have not hurt anyone’s sentiments,” he said.
Graham further told CNN- News 18:
These are stories, work of fiction. There is no point in banning them. If you want to criticize them, then write about it or write another story. You cannot call for a ban on content in a democracy.
India is considered the largest democracy in the world. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) currently controls the country. Critics have accused the BJP of inciting hatred against religious minorities, namely Muslims and Christians. The BJP and Shiv Sena are allies.
Solanki also sent a copy of the complaint against Netflix to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Mumbai Commissioner of Police.