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New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addresses the MSMEs E-conclave themed ‘Business Continuity for MSMEs in Defence & Aerospace Sector’ via video conference in New Delhi on May 21, 2020. (Photo: IANS/PIB) by .
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in a video conference in New Delhi. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

Any content on the military will have to obtain a no objection certificate (NOC) or clearance from the Ministry of Defence from now onwards. The decision was taken after a few web series allegedly presented a distorted image of the armed forces.

The Defence Ministry has written a letter to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to advise production houses to obtain NOC from them before telecasting any film/documentary/web series on army theme in public domain. The letter was sent by the Ministry of Defence on July 27.

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Sources said the ministry had received complaints raising strong objections about portrayal of Indian Army personnel and military uniform in an insulting manner.

“In some of the web series like ‘Code M’ on Zee 5 and ‘XXX Uncensored (season-2)’ on ALT Balaji, the scenes related to the Army are far from reality and present a distorted image of the Armed Forces,” said a senior government official.

Leh: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with the troops who participated in the para dropping and other military exercises at Stankna near Leh on July 17, 2020. Also seen Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane. (Photo: IANS) by .
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with the troops who participated in the para dropping and other military exercises at Stankna near Leh. (Photo: IANS)

Some concerned citizens and ex-servicemen associations have even lodged a case against ALT Balaji seeking legal action against the producer and the OTT platform. The over-the-top (OTT) media service is a streaming media service offered directly to the viewers via internet.

The step to make obtaining NOC mandatory has been taken after much deliberation. Sources further pointed out that this has been done “to curtail the incidents which distort the image of the defence forces and hurt the sentiments of the defence personnel and veterans”.

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The military has been very particular about its image and the content projected in different web series or documentaries or movies. Bollywood films on military go through a mandatory clearance process. However, with increased OTT platforms, the military feels that it needs to moderate any possible alleged negative depiction of the uniform.

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