On August 14, 2013, a Police Officer of the Special Branch of Police Mahfuzur Rahman and his wife Shapna Rahman were killed at their home in Chamelibag.
Three days later, their daughter Oishee Rahman surrendered to police and confessed of murdering her parents. The Metropolitan Session Judge Court filed a case against Oishee and two others and then it was sent to speedy tribunal.
There Oishee was sentenced to life imprisonment.
This incident caused a stir in the country and became a talk of the town. At every platform, there was only one question: how can an eighteen year old girl kill her parents?
Recently, Shihab Shaheen has directed a web series titled "14th August," based on the infamous murders by Oishee. In the series, Oishee's character is renamed as Tushi. Actress Tasnuva Tisha has played this character.
Watch the trailer of "14th August" here
It has been produced for the local streaming service Binge. However, it is also available on YouTube. Binge authority claimed the series landed on YouTube due to piracy.
Since the series is available on YouTube, it has drawn wide attention from the audiences. Everyone is discussing it. Many viewers were concerned about the bold and explicit depiction of the real life crimes on the web series.
Tasnuva Tisha, the lead character of the web series, has appeared in intimate and violent scenes to 'rightfully' depict the horrors done by Oishee. "We tried to portray the true crime story. Hence some degree of sexual depiction was shot for the series," she said.
"I have received acclaims from many people. Some people will always criticise. I don't mind," she added.
Some are demanding for censorship of web content and some are saying it is not necessary when it comes to web series. Rather, director's portrayal can be considered as self-censorship.
It is not only about this series. Other web series on this same streaming service are also going through the same backlash: censorship.
Sumon Anowar's "Sadar Ghater Tiger," and Wahid Tarek's "Boomerang" became the subject of controversy as well.
Shihab Shahin, the director of "14th August," said, "If we are allowing censoring then everything should be censored, even Netflix and Hoichoi contents too. There is no director who would welcome censoring. And there is one more thing that I would like to shed some light on – "14th August" is not for YouTube. This is for Binge and it is also mentioned there as an 18+ content. It is not a family friendly drama. It is for a selective audience, especially for parents."
About the response he said, "95 percent people have praised and appreciated, the others have just said mean things."
On censorship of web content, Shakib R Khan, Bangladesh Market Lead of India's Video Streaming Site Hoichoi, said, "We are against every kind of censorship. Pending any content is never welcomed. The problem is not with content rather it is with our mentality. The rating has been clearly mentioned in the beginning. Now, it is your choice whether you would watch it or not and also your responsibility with whom you would watch it."
Television drama director Masud Hasan Ujjal said, "Sex has always been a taboo in our country. We are not ready to accept sexuality as a part of our identity. So, when we try to portray 'bed scenes' for any visual media, it feels obscene to many as they couldn't unlearn the taboo for ages."
However, prominent filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki showed least interest to talk about this debacle. With a hint of disappointment, he said, "I do not want to talk about it at all."
Farooki's film "Shonibar Bikel" (Saturday Afternoon) is not getting approval from censor board for the last two years. It was based on the true incident of militant attack on Holey Artisan cafe.
Actor and producer Iresh Zaker, president of the Television Programme Producers Association of Bangladesh also shared his thoughts and said, "It is better to make decent content as we still watch TV or online contents in a homely environment with our family. So, we cannot make such content that is inappropriate to watch with family."
Neither Binge nor the artistes showed much interest to talk on this controversy. On condition of anonymity, an artiste of "14th August" said, "What has been showed there, it was purely for the sake of plot. There is nothing to be offensive. Sex is everywhere: from our literature to art to life. Though you can censor it on media, can you censor it from life?"
The artist also asked us when we do not have any problem watching bold scenes on Netflix or Hoichoi, then why do we feel so uncomfortable watching our own content?