Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn believes the digital space needs to be regulated “to a point” because with complete freedom, people will take advantage of the medium. He hopes the regulations are not a step in the wrong direction.
“It is an area of concern to a point. To a point it needs to be regulated but we should not start going backwards. Regulations should be right. The fear isn’t that it’s getting regulated. The fear is what the regulations are,” Devgn, who’s feature film Bhuj: The Pride of India is set to be released on OTT, said.
The 52-year-old actor said going straight to digital has not affected the film’s prospect. Amid the current situation where theatres haven’t opened across all states in the country, Devgn said it is better if Bhuj is seen by a wider audience on the streaming platform.
“Given the scenario, when you make a film, you want maximum people to see it and OTT is a good platform. I am not saying all the films should be released on OTT but it’ll be a good balance in the future because theatres are going to come back in a big way,” he said. “We release nearly 150 films a year and then people are only fighting for space. There are no theatres available as three films release a day. So OTT will bring that balance. Either you can go on OTT or theatres, as long as people are watching it, its fine.”
Devgn said the regulations should be in place to keep a check on any unwarranted content, but more clarity is required on what could become problematic online. “If we don’t regulate something, people take advantage. Four people taking advantage will spoil the name of the whole industry. If you don’t regulate, people will start putting porn on it also. So regulations are important but there has to be a line drawn,” he explained.
In February, the then Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar held an interaction with representatives of various OTT platforms, including ALTBalaji, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Jio, Zee5, Viacom18, Shemaroo and MX Player. Javadekar had mentioned that in the past, the government had held several rounds of consultation with OTT players and stressed on the need for self-regulation.