Tandav Web Series Controversy: The makers of Amazon Prime Video‘s new political drama ‘Tandav‘ issued an “unconditional” apology after complaints to police in Maharashtra and UP alleged some scenes “insulted Hindu gods and goddesses”. The statement said any offense was unintentional and that the series was “a work of fiction (with) any resemblance to acts and persons and events purely coincidental”.
The Tandav Web series, which stars Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, was released Friday to relatively unenthusiastic reviews but quickly triggered outrage, a comment from the UP Chief Minister’s office that was seen as a warning and renewed calls to regulate OTT content.
Here Tandav Web Series Controversy Explained in 10 Points:
- Tandav scene that caused trouble: A scene in the first episode of Tandav features actor Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub performing a college play. The scene shows him wearing a pantsuit, holding a ‘damroo’ and saying “What the F***.” Protestors feel the sequence insults the Hindu deity Shiv which has caused an outroar.
- On the next day of the release of Tandav, viewers took to Twitter to demand a ban on the series. ‘#BanTandavNow‘ started trending on Twitter.
- Soon after the backlash, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry issued a notice to Amazon Prime Video, seeking its response to the complaints against the web series.
- A criminal complaint has been filed before a Delhi court seeking action against OTT platform Amazon Prime Video and the makers of the web series including Ali Abbas Zafar (director), Aparna Purohit (head, India Amazon original contents), Himanshu Krishna Mehra (producer), Gaurav Solanki (writer), Saif Ali Khan (actor), Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub (actor) and Gauhar Khan (actor) as accused.
- The complaint filed under Section 200 of the CrPC seeks summoning, commencing the trial, and punishing the accused persons alleging that the web series is provoking communal disharmony and is hurting the sentiments of Hindus.
- Ali Abbas Zafar then issued an apology on behalf of the cast and crew saying they did not intend to offend anyone or insult any religion and political party. In the statement, Ali shared that they have been closely monitoring the row, and stressed that the series is a complete work of fiction.
- Many political leaders including Mayawati, Kapil Mishra, and others also condemned the show for ‘insulting Hindu god.’ Many also called it “anti-Dalit and full of communal hatred against Hindus.” They sought a ban on the series instantly.
- Tandav makers say they will make changes to the web series following the controversy. “The cast & crew of ‘Tandav’ have made the decision to implement changes to the web series to address the concerns raised towards the same,” the statement read.
- At least three FIRs have been registered in Uttar Pradesh against the makers and artists of Tandav as a result of which UP Police has reached Mumbai to question them. According to the FIR filed in Rabupura, the makers have been booked under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, according to news agency PTI.
- Also, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Hindu Jangran Manch activists have lodged a strong protest against Tandav makers and actors demanding a case to be registered under the stringent National Security Act (NSA).