Rahul Gandhi terms portrayal of his father in ‘Sacred Games’ as freedom of expression


India’s Congress President Rahul Gandhi has broken his silence over web series Sacred Games, which was accused of insulting his father.

“BJP/RSS believe the freedom of expression must be policed and controlled. I believe this freedom is a fundamental democratic right,” he said of his political opponents.

The Netflix series is facing a legal petition over the removal of certain content on the grounds that it insulted former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

“My father lived and died in the service of India. The views of a character on a fictional web series can never change that,” Gandhi tweeted.

The series, which has received rave reviews, is based on author Vikram Chandra’s similarly titled novel and directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane.

Kashyap has appreciated Gandhi’s comment, replying: “That’s a yay.”

Actress Swara Bhaskar wrote: “It is impressive that a mainstream politician like Rahul Gandhi is taking this clear and progressive stand on freedom of expression and censorship. Also, it’s gracious and mature that he is able to set aside the personal for the larger goal of democratic rights. Credit where due.”

Photographer and Bollywood producer Atul Kasbekar said: This mature view should hopefully now put to rest other easily outraged folks for any future ‘transgressions and perceived insults’. Well done Mr Gandhi.”
Author and screenplay writer Kanika Dhillon also lauded the remark.

“Love the response! About time! (Although politicians use liberal dose of fiction as and when convenient in their narratives and agendas). It’s great to see a mature take on real fiction — just letting it be! No conjecture! No propaganda! Creative freedom,” she said.

Director Madhur Bhandarkar, however, found a contradiction in Gandhi’s comment.

“Dear Rahul Gandhiji, here is a compilation of the harrowing experience I had when your party workers tried to police and control my freedom of expression during my film Indu Sarkar. I was hounded at various cities to 5-star hotels to the censor board office. I requested for your support, but you didn’t,” he wrote alongside a video.

The Indian film industry, audiences and even the international media has given a thumbs up to the show, which has Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte in the lead.

Filmmaker Karan Johar tweeted: “The bar is set! The standard is gold! Sacred Games is the best digital content of the season. Brilliantly written, executed and performed. This crime series will keep you hooked and completely booked for season 2! Bravo!”