Saturday, January 16, 2021

Indian Air Force Slams Bollywood Star Anil Kapoor & Others Over Their New Netflix Film

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has criticized (without naming) Netflix India and Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor and filmmaker Anurag Kashyap for “inaccurately” presenting the air force uniform in the trailer of a film Ak vs Ak, which is scheduled for release on the OTT platform on December 24.

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IAF has said the uniform in the video is “inaccurately donned and the language used is inappropriate”. Demanding that these scenes be withdrawn, the air force has said, “This does not conform to the behavioral norms of those in the Armed Forces of India.”

The trailer of the movie Ak vs Ak released on YouTube recently shows actor Anil Kapoor in the uniform of the Indian Air Force.

While the idea of the film was to shoot in real-time where Anil Kapoor needs to find his kidnapped daughter Sonam Kapoor, jumping through multiple hurdles in just 10 hours without contacting police, the relevance of the air force uniform to the movie’s script is not clear.

Meanwhile, Netflix India tweeted, saying, “Our intention would never be to disrespect the Armed Forces of India in any regard. AK Vs. AK is a film in which Anil Kapoor and his co-stars are playing themselves as actors.”

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap did not answer the call when EurAsian Times tried to reach him on phone.

However, social media users are hailing the Indian Air Force for calling out Kashyap and the OTT platform for “disrespecting the uniform”. Even though there were no reactions on social media when the trailer was released last week, the IAF tweet has sparked a controversy on social media.

In the past, Kashyap has courted controversies over his overtly “anti-Modi” stand. He was also threatened on social media for his purported anti-government tweets.

First step towards censorship on streaming platforms?

In November, a Government of India’s Gazette notification has brought all the streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hotstar under the ambit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B), sparking fears of a new censorship regime.

AK vs AK | Official Trailer | Anil Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane | Netflix India - YouTube

The move came after the Supreme Court issued notice to the federal government and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) to regulate OTT platforms. Earlier in July, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal had asked the entertainment industry to self-regulate their programs on OTT platforms. He had claimed that many of them portray India and Indian society poorly.

Can Copy Armed Forces’ Uniform or Not?

Earlier this year, the Indian Army had asked the Ministry of Defense and Ministry Home Affairs to issue guidelines to ensure that state police forces and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) do not wear the ‘disruptive pattern’ uniform, commonly referred to as ‘combat uniform’, while on law and order duties such as mob control and anti-riot measures.

Wearing the uniform of armed forces by public servants not serving the command can be penalized under Section 171 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. An IAF officer told the EurAsian Times earlier that there is no such rule that films cannot depict the actual uniforms.

The story has been updated, incorporating Netflix India’s clarification posted on Twitter.


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