Mira Nair’s adaptation of Vikram Seth’s best-selling novel A Suitable Boy is creating a storm for Netflix in India after the British-made series depicted a Hindu girl kissing a Muslim boy against the backdrop of a Hindu temple.
Netflix acquired the series in July as part of a deal with BBC Studios, which owns A Suitable Boy producer Lookout Point. The lavish drama — originally made for BBC One and acquired by Acorn TV in the U.S. — is penned by Andrew Davies and tells the story of spirited university student, Lata, coming of age in North India in 1951.
But the show has drawn political fire in India. Gaurav Tiwari, a leader of the youth wing of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, filed a police complaint about the drama for “shooting kissing scenes under temple premises.” The complaint named Monica Shergill, Netflix’s VP of content in India, and public policy director Ambika Khurana.
He added that A Suitable Boy “encourages Love Jihad,” a conspiracy theory that posits that Muslims are seducing Hindu women and forcing them to convert to Islam. The unproven theory has gained popularity among right-wing groups and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Narottam Mishra, a cabinet minister for the state of Madhya Pradesh, also voiced his concerns. “It has extremely objectionable scenes that have hurt the feelings of a particular religion,” he said on Twitter, per a translation by Reuters. “I’ve directed police officers to get this controversial content tested [to determine] what legal action can be taken against the producer-director of the film for hurting religious sentiments.”
Deadline has contacted Netflix and Lookout Point for comment. The streamer declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
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