Last 12 months Zee5’s Godman succumbed to the Twitter censor strain, and obtained cancelled. This 12 months started with Amazon Prime’s Tandav, the place a scene deemed objectionable by the Twitter mob was deleted from the present, whereas pre-emptive bail was rejected by the Allahabad High Court as a result of Hindu gods had been proven in a “cheap and objectionable way”. The platform issued an unconditional apology. This month, Netflix’s Bombay Begums elicited related Twitter tirades. But this time, their voice was elevated by a authorities physique, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) which, on March 12, requested Netflix to cease streaming the present inside 24 hours for its “inappropriate portrayal of children in the series’’.

Bombay Begums is present about 5 ladies at completely different levels of their life: Pooja Bhatt as Rani, the CEO of a financial institution, Shahana Goswami as Fatima, a senior employees on the identical financial institution, Amruta Subhash as Lily, a bar dancer turned sex-worker, Plabita Borthakur as Ayesha, a junior employees on the financial institution, and Aadhya Anand as Shai, the 13-year previous step-daughter of Rani. It is directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, who earlier gave us Lipstick Under My Burkha and Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, the place ladies play front-and-center gray characters, embracing the mess that’s trendy existence. It is a 6-part collection, with hour-long episodes that delve into the trivia of this mess.

Also read: Rahul Desai reviews Bombay Begums

What is the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)?

The NCPCR was established by the Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005, and started its operation in 2007. It works below the Ministry of Women and Child Development. One of their mandated features is to, “Undertake formal investigation where concern has been expressed either by children themselves or by concerned person on their behalf.”

In this case the priority was delivered to them by adults on Twitter. 

The NCPCR of their discover famous that if Netflix didn’t cease the streaming of the collection inside 24 hours, they’d “initiate appropriate action pursuant to the provisions of Section 14 of the CPCR (Commission for Protection of Child Rights) Act, 2005.”

Section 14 of the Act notes that the Commission has all of the powers of a civil court docket making an attempt a go well with, if it offers with “non-compliance of policy decisions, guidelines or instructions aimed at mitigating hardships to and ensuring welfare of the children and to provide relief to such children.”

This isn’t the primary time the NCPCR has courted headlines. In 2018, they thought-about the revision of tips for youngster members in actuality tv reveals after an issue involving singer Papon kissing a minor lady. Papon stepped down from the present. They additionally wished to ensure kids are usually not working for greater than 12 hours a day. 

What is that this criticism about?

The two tweets that the Commission cited are the next. In truth, the difficulty was delivered to the discover of the NCPCR chairperson by these tweets:

The Bombay Begums Controversy, Explained, Film Companion

The NCPCR discover additional famous that “Netflix should take extra precaution while streaming any content in respect of the children or for the children and shall also refrain from getting into such things.”

The Scene In Question

In the fifth episode of Bombay Begums, 14-year-old Shai is on the party of Imran Siddiqui, the teenager lothario, her college crush. In an earlier scene she overhears how a few of her classmates are planning to decorate up, “Something shimmery, something slutty.”

Shai presents Imran a guide of sketches she drew, of her actually plucking her coronary heart out of her physique to provide it to him. His response is, “Cool. You did this yourself?” earlier than he leaves her hanging to welcome extra of his associates. Later, she sees him dancing with one other lady, and downs pink cups of Cardi vodka – straight with out chasers – and finds herself within the cocaine nook of the occasion.

The Bombay Begums Controversy, Explained, Film Companion

The Bombay Begums Controversy, Explained, Film Companion

One of the older youngsters there demurs, “She’s a kid dude, like twelve or something.” Shai replies, “I am thirteen, going on fourteen actually.” She asks the blokes to indicate her the right way to snort traces. Just a few traces and some pictures of vodka later she finds herself within the rest room along with her reward of sketches within the trash can. She tears them up and spirals until she falls unconscious in a pool of her personal vomit by the bathroom seat, nearly lifeless.

Also read: Anupama Chopra reviews Bombay Begums

Does the scene glorify teenage drug abuse?

The occasion scene is filmed uncomfortably, and never with the aesthetic of glorification. There’s nothing aspirational concerning the downward spiral Shai finds herself in. The very subsequent episode begins along with her step-mother Rani (Pooja Bhatt), admonishing the mother and father of Imran, “What the hell were drugs doing in a 14-year old’s party in the first place?” Rani, on this scene, takes the ethical heart, re-orienting us because the viewer and the characters that this was, by no means, aspirational.

The Bombay Begums Controversy, Explained, Film Companion

What subsequent?

Based on an Indian Express report, a senior Netflix official met NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo and submitted a proof concerning the present. Netflix had requested for extra time to look into the matter after they had been served the preliminary discover by NCPCR. Netflix is assembly the Commission subsequent Tuesday.

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