- Netflix's latest movie has translated subtitles that have created a controversy.
- In the subtitles, the Hindu god and goddess have been demeaned.
- Netflix has now made corrections to the subtitles after a huge backlash
Netflix's growing catalogue of India original movies includes Anushka Sharma-produced Bulbbul, a supernatural drama that has received mixed reviews. The movie tries to live up to its horror genre, and while doing it, Bulbbul draws some references from the Hindu mythology to further the storyline. A new controversy has brewed online over that reference leading to the #BoycottNetflix hashtag. The hashtag has been trending on the Indian Twitter since Monday morning wherein people are criticising a particular scene in the movie that attempts to slander a Hindu god and goddess.
Why is #BoycottNetflix trending?
The movie Bulbbul was released on Netflix on June 24 as a follow-up to Anushka Sharma's undying efforts to revive the horror genre in India. A lot of horror movies take references to old wives' tales and folklore for their plots and Bulbbul is no different. In a short video clip that is going viral on Twitter, Binodini (played by Paoli Dam) seems to be reciting a Bengali poem based on Hindu goddess Radha and god Krishna, respectively, in a singsong voice serving as a monologue for the scene featuring Bulbbul (played by Tripti Dimri). The Hindi subtitles of the Bengali words in the poem include unsavoury words such as besharm and haramzada.
The use of two foul Hindi language words for a poem based on Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha has stirred up a controversy on social media. The outrage, veiled under the #BoycottNetflix hashtag, is now going rampant in India, attracting undue backlash against other OTT players such as Amazon Prime Video for its recent popular show Paatal Lok that shows Hindu sages devouring flesh -- something that the Hindu community considers as a sin. The scene is short-lived and is only focused on the chunk of the Bengali poem where the characteristics of both Goddess Radha and Lord Krishna have been depicted.
What is reality?
To verify the authenticity of the video clip, we saw the movie at the exact location where the poem recital begins. We could not find the word haramzada used for Lord Krishna in the short video clip ubiquitous on social media. The word has now been edited to natkhat after the backlash. However, the word besharm for goddess Radha is still intact in the subtitles. The Bengali poem recited in the scene is Kolonkini Radha, which portrays the distasteful side of Goddess Radha, hence the words.
Netflix declined to comment.