Social Media Outrage Against Bombay Begums Resurfaces As Netizens Demand Series Ban

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Calls were issued Thursday on Twitter to ban Bombay Begums after a section of netizens rallied against alleged “child sex abuse” and “child drug abuse” in the Netflix series. The six-part series, ever since its release in March 2021, has been mired in controversy for its themes that have been deemed problematic by some.

In what is increasingly becoming a trend with regard to online streaming content, Bombay Begums saw a volley of backlash following its release owing to allegedly “inappropriate portrayal” of children. After social media users had raised grievance, NCPCR had taken cognisance of the issue and asked Netflix to take necessary changes into account, as previously reported.

Claiming the show is “promoting child pornography,” right-wing organisation Hindu Janajagruti Samiti issued a statement May 31 demanding a ban on Bombay Begums, further spurring the controversy.

A press note shared by the HJS South Goa Coordinator and undersigned by a spokesperson of the organisation, states, “Promoting child pornography through this web series is a form of promoting child abuse at a time when the incidence of sexual abuse and rape is on the rise in society.” The committee claims the series is in violation of Article 77 of the Juvenile Justice Act.

Ban Bombay Begums Trends: A Recap Of The Controversy Around The OTT Series

Bombay Begums, primarily revolving around the lives of four women in Mumbai, also touches upon teen rebellion and angst. Its blunt portrayal of children did not go down well with one section of the audience, which demanded a ban on either particular scenes or the whole show.

After outrage grew, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) addressed the concerns saying the show “will not only pollute the young minds but may also result in abuse and exploitation of children.” Netflix had sought time to take action on the matter. Full story here. 

Support pouring in for the show stated that children using drugs and engaging in sexual behaviours was reality and thus shouldn’t be cause for outrage. Pooja Bhatt, star of Bombay Begums, reacted to the controversy in March, saying, “My response was, sit down with the Commission, talk to them, let them understand that Shai’s character (the child) is of a troubled teenager and we have plenty of those in our society who are lost within their own homes… We have all been rebels without causes.”

Director Alankrita Shrivastava meanwhile told SheThePeople in an interview, “For me, there needs to be a purpose. I don’t want to make films as a job, just because I have to. I want to tell these particular stories through my work.”

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