The next time you see two humans exchanging spit on a Netflix show, or salivating at the sight of a sweaty dude with rock-solid abs, revel in those moments of digital debauchery. They might soon be a thing of the past. The Indian government has reportedly told Netflix, Disney, and other streaming platforms that their content will soon be vetted for "obscenity and vulgarity" by an independent body.

According to Reuters, the Information & Broadcasting Ministry held a meeting in June 2023, attended by Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Apple, and Reliance representatives. The pitch was "an independent panel to review content." However, no decision could be made after streaming platform representatives objected to the request.

Right now, content on these platforms is not regulated (read: censored and butchered with aggressive cuts) in the same way that films released in Indian cinemas are checked by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

A woman looking to her left
A still like this could be chopped off from streaming platforms in India. (Credit: AI art / Unstable Diffusion)

The Hindu wrote an excellent article about how deep the CBFC censoring runs. But it's not just about sexual or obscene content that the CBFC chops off. "Instead, they span the government’s concerns on diplomatic relations, police overreach, political balance, religion and caste," says the report.

But let's stick to our dear ministers wanting us to stay "sanskaari" and not letting us degrade our moral compass by watching a few itty-bitty human parts online. By the way, India is also one of the world's biggest consumers of online pornographic content.

Apparently, pornography is all cool. That's because our parliamentarians love themselves some digital sleaze. Right in the parliament halls.

In 2012, three BJP politicians in Karnataka quit after being caught watching porn in the state parliament. One of them was a women’s affairs minister, while the other one eventually became the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka. In 2023, another BJP MLA, Jadab Lal Nath, was caught watching porn on his phone in the Tripura assembly.

But hey, we need to hear from these moral angels and shouldn't get exposed to a few seconds of carnal action in a Netflix drama. I guess VPNs are the way to go to get one's fix of sex-ed class in India. Oh, wait, the government has also forced VPN companies to leave India.

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