Dig­i­tal space should be em­braced

Daily News - - BOLLYWORLD -

LIKE many, ac­tor Adil Hus­sain is all for the dig­i­tal boom. He says that while there is a dan­ger that some of the many shows and films on­line might be provoca­tive, it does not mean a cen­sor board should be set up for the dig­i­tal space. He feels the govern­ment should trust the au­di­ence and let them de­cide what to watch and what to shun.

Adil-star­rer Un­free­dom, which was ear­lier banned by the Cen­tral Board of Film Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion due to its bold con­tent, re­leased in In­dia and other coun­tries on the streaming site Netflix in April. The crit­i­cally ac­claimed ac­tor is also the men­tor and brand am­bas­sador of Pick­urFlick, a dig­i­tal plat­form that sup­ports in­de­pen­dent cin­ema.

Asked what he likes about the dig­i­tal space, Adil says: “If you have ac­cess to in­ter­net, you can watch any con­tent when­ever you want to and wher­ever you want to. That’s a great thing. The ex­pe­ri­ence will not nec­es­sar­ily be the same as watch­ing a film on the big screen, but at least I can watch it.”

He un­der­stands that there is a “fear” at­tached to the dig­i­tal plat­form as some con­tent can be “ex­tremely provoca­tive” – but he is against the idea of hav­ing a cen­sor board.

Not­ing that the cen­sor board in In­dia is manned by “peo­ple who are not ex­perts”, he won­dered how one could trust them. “They are not so­ci­ol­o­gists or psy­chol­o­gists. So, how do you trust cer­tain peo­ple who were ran­domly cho­sen and let them de­cide what I should watch or not?

“It is a flawed sys­tem that we have, and we know that, in In­dia, we can in­flu­ence the board or any­body ir­re­spec­tive of who is in power. Though there is sort of a dan­ger (in the dig­i­tal space), what out­weighs the dan­ger is that you have the free­dom to watch what­ever you want to and you are giv­ing the power to the au­di­ence to choose.

“This au­ton­omy that you pass on to your son or daugh­ter when they turn around 13 or 14, you al­low them to do things, and you trust them. So, the govern­ment has to trust the au­di­ence,” says the Na­tional Award win­ner.

Also, peo­ple “ob­vi­ously have their par­ents or el­der sib­lings to give them cer­tain sen­si­bil­i­ties. The ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem should give stu­dents sen­si­bil­i­ties so that they can choose good con­tent”.

The Life of Pi ac­tor is also care­ful about posts on so­cial me­dia.

“I am ex­tremely care­ful. Some­times I feel that, maybe, if I an­swer just one of them (trollers), they would un­der­stand,” he adds.

Adil is known for bal­anc­ing be­tween big bud­get and in­die films. How does he pick projects?

The Bio­scope­wala ac­tor, who has played the on-screen hus­band of ac­tresses Vidya Balan and Sridevi, says: “It de­pends on how much money I have in my bank ac­count to run the fam­ily. I told my wife that I am go­ing to do a short film in Sin­ga­pore in July. She asked ‘Are you sure?’ I mostly do in­de­pen­dent films.” He is also pre­par­ing for a play. “I am just read­ing it. It’s called Karma-nishtha. It’s a di­a­logue be­tween Kr­ishna and Ar­jun. I am pre­par­ing for it. It should hope­fully get staged this year,” said Adil.

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