Controversial Indian show depicting child marriage pulled off air

The show revolved around a 10-year-old boy married to a 19-year-old woman. (Photo courtesy: Sony Entertainment Television)
Updated 29 August 2017

Controversial Indian show depicting child marriage pulled off air

DUBAI: Following intense backlash in India, Sony Entertainment Television said Tuesday that it has pulled its controversial show “Pehredaar Piya Ki” (Husband’s Guard) off the air.
The show was launched last month on Sony Entertainment Television — a popular Hindi general entertainment channel in India — and was aired every weekday night in the prime 8:30 p.m. slot.
The show revolved around a 10-year-old boy married to a 19-year-old woman and has outraged Indian viewers who sought to ban the “bizarre show” for glorifying child marriage.
“While we understand that the decision to end this serial will be disappointing to those whose creative energies are vested in it, namely its crew and cast, we are convinced that we will be better served by focusing instead on developing viewer interest in our upcoming, new shows,” an official statement by Sony said.
“We are grateful to all the artists, producers and fans of our shows and request you to graciously support the viewership of our newer ventures,” it added.
Earlier in August, India’s Broadcasting Content Complaints Council stated that the program must add an on-screen scroll stating that it does not promote the concept of child marriage.
A Change.org petition urging information and broadcasting minister Smriti Irani to ban the show was launched last week and the petitioner, Mansi Jain, questioned the influence the soap would have on viewers and said it showed the child perform marriage rituals such as putting vermillion on the older actor playing his wife.
— With Reuters


Netflix, Apple cross swords in Indian streaming market

Updated 12 September 2019

Netflix, Apple cross swords in Indian streaming market

  • Netflix launched in India in 2016 and two of its Indian-made series have won critical acclaim — “Sacred Games” and “Leila”
  • US technology giant Apple on Wednesday announced the launch of its streaming platform Apple TV+ in India, hoping to upend competition

MUMBAI: Competition in India’s booming streaming market is heating up as Netflix joins forces with a director of Bollywood feel-good blockbusters and Apple launches its TV platform for 99 rupees ($1.39) a month.
Netflix announced late Wednesday a long-term partnership with Karan Johar’s Dharmatic Entertainment to make a range of new fiction and non-fiction series and films for the platform.
Johar has directed eight films including “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” with Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan, and “Raazi,” nominated for best picture at next week’s Indian International Film Academy (IIFA) Awards, dubbed the Bollywood Oscars.
“It’s going to be P.H.A.T — pretty hot and tempting,” said Johar, whose Dharma Entertainment is one of India’s biggest production firms and which already teamed up with Netflix for the successful “Lust Stories” anthology.
Netflix launched in India in 2016 and two of its Indian-made series have won critical acclaim — “Sacred Games” starring Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and “Leila” with Huma Qureishi.
But Netflix faces stiff competition in Asia’s third-largest economy as Amazon’s Prime Video, Disney’s Hotstar, Alt Balaji and other local platforms jostle for digital subscriptions and eyeballs.
US technology giant Apple on Wednesday announced the launch of its streaming platform Apple TV+ in India, hoping to upend competition.
Netflix is available in India from 199 rupees a month and as millions of first-time users access Internet in Asia’s third-largest economy, analysts expect competition to intensify.
India’s video-streaming industry is expected to grow at nearly 22 percent per annum to 119 billion rupees ($1.7 billion) by 2023 according to consultancy PwC, Bloomberg News reported.
Netflix chief Reed Hastings has said the company’s goal is 100 million customers in India — almost 25 times its estimated subscriber base there as of this year, Bloomberg said.