The exchange takes place in the series, “A Suitable Boy,” an adaptation of the award-winning novel by Indian author Vikram Seth, released on the streaming service last month.
The story follows the love life of a young Hindu woman and at one time depicts her being kissed by a Muslim man in a Hindu temple.
“This has very unpleasant content that hurts the feelings of people of a particular religion,” said Mishra, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Hindu Nationalist Party (BJP).
“I have asked authorities to examine why, and with what intentions, this program and theme has been rebooted [streaming] platforms, “ he said, adding that he was looking into what legal action could be taken.
On Saturday, BJP youth leader Gaurav Tiwari – he told reporters he had lodged a separate complaint against Netflix’s vice president of content in India and his director of public policy in relation to the show. The complaint accuses Netflix of committing “deliberate or malicious acts, with the intention of angering religious sentiments.” Under Indian law, such an offense could be punishable by a prison term of up to three years, a fine, or both.
Netflix declined to comment.
Adapt to India
That could force companies like Netflix to start following the same restrictions as traditional media.
“A Suitable Boy,” a BBC production later acquired by Netflix, is just one of a series of Indian-focused titles the company is releasing there. The show focuses on how “modernity confronts tradition,” according to a synopsis on the Netflix website.
That could also be a description of the current cultural debate in India. Lately, many politicians have been floating the topic of “love jihad,” an Islamophobic theory that claims that Muslim men lured Hindu women into conversion under the pretext of marriage.
Mishra told reporters this month that a law would be introduced in his state to punish anyone found guilty of committing what he considered a “love of jihad.”
– Helen Regan, Priyali Sur and Vedika Sud contributed to this report.