New Delhi — The first thing that comes into view as the camera pans up from the bottom of an austere tower block is the shape of a dog. "Do you believe in God?" asks the voiceover as the animal tumbles downwards. As the dog hits the ground with a dull thud, the voice intones: "God doesn’t give a f**k." With that noir flourish, stylistically familiar to audiences worldwide from hit shows such as House of Cards or Narcos, Netflix this month launched its first ever Indian-produced series, Sacred Games. The show, based on the 2007 novel by Vikram Chandra, is an eight-part multimillion-dollar thriller set in the Mumbai criminal underworld, and featuring Hindi film stars Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte. But more than that, it is a statement of intent. Netflix, the streaming service with 125-million global subscribers, views India as its next major source of revenue growth, not least because the country’s number of internet users has doubled in the past four years to 50...

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