25 July, 2021

Sacred Games Underlines Power Of Freedom In Digital Space

Sacred Games is replete with ­n­o-holds-barred sex scenes, inc­­­l­u­ding frontal nudity, unabashed use of violence, cuss words and, above all, con­­tentious references to various vol­atile political events of the past—just the sort of ­material the censor board has ­always ­gleefully chopped off.

Don’s Gift
Kubra Sait and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the series
Sacred Games Underlines Power Of Freedom In Digital Space

It is the glasnost Indian film-makers had been waiting for since ages. A mighty censor board, notorious for stamping out any creative flic­ker not in conformity with its ­mot­h-­eaten guidelines, appears to be ­facing an existential crisis.

Accustomed to snipping anything ‘obn­oxious’ on screen, its very raison d’être has come under the scanner now with the advent of over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix, which have started streaming Indian original content without needing any certification from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), the long-standing watchdog of Indian cinema.

There’s nothing illegal about it. An ‘independent’ digital world alr­eady enables the film-makers to show whatever they want, without having to abide by any archaic norms. It’s an era of unl­imited freedom, which the movie makers of succ­essive generations were deprived of ever since the Cinematograph Act came into force 100 years ago, and that’s almost the entire history of Indian...

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