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Tandav row: Makers apologise; security increased at Saif, Amazon’s offices

Tandav, a political drama series streaming on Amazon Prime Video, has created a furore over its alleged portrayal of Hindu deities in a 'bad light' and use of 'casteist scenes and dialogues'.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 18, 2021 7:20:12 pm
TandavTandav released on Amazon Prime Video on January 15. (Photo: Amazon Prime Video/Instagram)

The makers of web series ‘Tandav’ on Amazon Prime Video Monday issued an unconditional apology for “unintentionally” hurting sentiments of the public over some scenes depicting Hindu deities in a ‘bad light’. This comes after an FIR was registered against the makers of the show and Amazon India head at Hazratganj police station of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh earlier today.

“The cast and crew did not have any intention to offend the sentiments of any individual, caste, community, race, religion or religious beliefs or insult or outrage any institution, political party or person, living or dead. The cast and crew of “Tandav” take cognizance of the concerns expressed by the people and unconditionally apologize if it has unintentionally hurt anybody’s sentiments,” series director Ali Abbas Zafar shared the statement on his Twitter handle.

Tandav, a political drama series streaming on Amazon Prime Video, has created a furore over its alleged portrayal of Hindu deities in a ‘bad light’ and use of ‘casteist scenes and dialogues’.

Earlier today, an FIR was registered against Amazon India original content head Aparna Purohit, series director Ali Abbas Zafar, producer Himanshu Krishna Mehra, writer Gaurav Solanki and others at the Hazratganj police station of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. The FIR has been lodged under sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 505 (1) (B) (statements conducing to public mischief with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquility) and 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation) along with sections of the IT Act.

In the wake of the backlash, security has been stepped up outside the office of Saif Ali Khan in Mumbai’s suburban Bandra on Monday, PTI reported. Security has been heightened outside the head offices of Amazon at Bandra Kurla Complex.

On Sunday, BJP MLA Ram Kadam had lodged a complaint against the makers of Tandav at the Ghatkopar police station in Mumbai, and urged authorities to take “strict action” against the actors, producers and director of the show. Another BJP leaders Manoj Kotak had written to Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar, asking for a ban on the series and a regulatory authority for OTT platforms at large.

Subsequently, the ministry sought an explanation from streaming platform Amazon Prime Video on the issue.

Madhya Pradesh minister Vishvas Sarang, state Assembly’s protem Speaker Rameshwar Sharma, and Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra have also asked the streaming platform to take down the series. Mishra has also sent a legal notice to Amazon Prime Videos to ban Tandav.

Appropriate to remove scenes hurting sentiments: Mayawati

Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati Monday said that some scenes of the series “hurt the religious and ethnic sentiments” of people and it would be appropriate to remove them to maintain peace and harmony in the country.

Taking to Twitter, Mayawati said, “Protests are being registered against some scenes hurting the religious and ethnic sentiments in the Tandav web series, in respect of which it would be appropriate to remove whatever is objectionable so that the atmosphere of peace, harmony and mutual brotherhood in the country is not spoiled anywhere.”

Tandav review |A pedestrian series

‘Tandav’, starring actors Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Sunil Grover, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Dino Morea, Kumud Mishra, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, Gauhar Khan and Kritika Kamra, premiered on the streaming platform on Friday.

Filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar has created, directed and produced the political drama with Himanshu Kishan Mehra and it is written by Gaurav Solanki, best known for ‘Article 15’.

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The government recently brought OTT platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar, besides other online news and current affairs content, under the ambit of the I&B ministry, giving it powers to regulate policies and rules for the digital space.

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