Mumbai: Maharashtra’s Chief Minister, Mr. Devendra Fadnavis, in a program has justified his government’s diktat on Marathi cinema shows in multiplexes. He compared it with the ongoing debate on Net Neutrality in social media.
He said, “As every small Application or site on internet has equal right to reach to customers, so as movies has this right. Every small or regional movies has equal right to reach to viewers via theaters. As in Net Neutrality big apps like Flipkart, Amazon or Facebook should not eat up space for small start ups on internet. Similarly, these big Bollywood movies can’t curb the right of small regional movies in theatrical space. I will call it “Theater Neutrality”.
This newly coined term “Theater Neutrality” by Mr. Fadnavis has raised a new debate amongst various circles ranging from activists to politicians, media persons to netizens. Many have found this analogy a bizarre one and many have actually found it worth debating.
Shobha De who recently got in news with the help of Shiv Sena on this issue has said, “It’s funny. Government has lost its brain it seems. One, can’t compare it with Net Neutrality. Look, we liberals got to take a stand against BJP always. That’s what we’ve been surviving on. So, here this so called “Theater Neutrality” not ours cup of tea. We(liberals) won’t support it.”
While Central government, obviously, has applauded Mr. Fadnavis for this analogy. “That’s actually a neutrality we should work upon.My wishes are with Mr. Fadnavis. Now, BJP will start a movement on social media for Theatre Neutrality.”, said Mr. Patra. Though when asked about why not neutrality on food then, why beef ban? Mr. Patra said, “No comments” and left.
Theater Neutrality has got his talking and attention. Many regional movie makers from Bengal, Haryana ,Gujarat etc has come in full support of Theater Neutrality eyeing a better future for their movies. Like many startups did for Net Neutrality. And it’s quite evident from the fact that #TheaterNeutrality has been trending on Facebook and twitter since it was coined. Future developments by activists and government will decide the fate of Theater Neutrality.