The exchange takes place in the series, “A Suitable Boy,” an adaptation of the award-winning novel by Indian author Vikram Seth, which was released on the streaming service last month.
The story follows the love life of a young Hindu woman and at one point, depicts her being kissed by a Muslim man at a Hindu temple.
“This has extremely objectionable content which hurts the sentiments of people of a particular religion,” said Mishra, who is a member of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“I have requested authorities to examine why, and with what intentions this program and this theme has been restarted on [streaming] platforms,” he said, adding that he was looking into what legal action could be taken.
On Saturday, a BJP youth leader — Gaurav Tiwari — told reporters that he had lodged a separate complaint against Netflix’s vice president of content in India and its director of public policy in relation to the show. The complaint accuses Netflix of committing “deliberate or malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings.” Under Indian law, such an offense could be punishable by a prison term of up to three years, a fine, or both.
Netflix declined to comment.
Adapting to India
That could force companies like Netflix to begin following the same restrictions as traditional media.
“A Suitable Boy,” a BBC production that was later acquired by Netflix, is just one of a string of titles focused on India the company is releasing there. The show is focused on how “modernity confronts tradition,” according to a summary on Netflix’s website.
That could also be a description for the current cultural debate in India. Recently, many politicians have been floating the topic of “love jihad,” an Islamophobic theory that claims that Muslim men entice Hindu women into conversion under the pretext of marriage.
Mishra told reporters this month that a law would be introduced in his state to punish anyone found guilty of committing what was deemed as “love jihad.”
— Helen Regan, Priyali Sur and Vedika Sud contributed to this report.