I&B ministry seeks explanation from Amazon Prime Video after Tandav accused of 'hurting religious sentiments of Hindus'
BJP MP Manoj Kotak, in a letter to Prakash Javadekar, had sought a ban on Amazon Prime Video's series Tandav for allegedly ridiculing Hindu deities
Taking cognisance of complaints that Hindu gods and goddesses have been ridiculed in web series Tandav, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Sunday sought an explanation from streaming platform Amazon Prime Video India on the issue, sources said.
The development came after BJP MP Manoj Kotak on Sunday said he has written to Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar seeking a ban on Amazon Prime Video's series Tandav for ridiculing Hindu deities.
''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.
"The ministry has taken cognisance of the matter (complaints) and asked Amazon Prime Video to explain," a source in the ministry said.
Kotak, the MP from Mumbai North-East, alleged that attempts are often made on such platforms to not show Hindu deities in good light.
He said different organisations and individuals have complained that Hindu gods and goddesses have been ridiculed in Tandav web series.
"Hence, we have made a demand to Javadekar ji and have written to him to ban the web series immediately. The actors, producers and directors should apologise for hurting sentiments," he added.
Sharing the picture of his letter to Javadekar on Twitter, Kotak said as there is no law or autonomous body governing digital content and films on such platforms are full of sex, violence, drugs, abuse, hate and vulgarity.
Here is Kotak's letter to the I&B Ministry
— Manoj Kotak (@manoj_kotak) January 17, 2021
It seems that makers of Tandav have deliberately mocked Hindu gods and disrespected Hindu religious sentiments, he said in the letter dated 16 January.
Another politician, Ram Kadam, a BJP MLA from Ghatkopar West, also asked the director to remove the portion of the web series in which Lord Shiva is allegedly ridiculed.
The legislator said he has filed a complaint in this connection at the suburban Ghatkopar police station.
When contacted about the complaints, Amazon Prime Video PR said the platform "won't be responding" on the matter.
According to Hindustan Times, a similar complaint has been filed against the OTT platform's head of original content Aparna Purohit at Hazratganj Kotwali in Lucknow. Zafar, Khurana, Solanki and others have been named in the FIR, which says the show hurts the religious sentiments of Hindus.
On 18 January, BJP leader Kapil Mishra sent Prime Video asking for the removal Tandav from its library, Asian News International reports. Mishra also said that if the platform does not comply, criminal proceedings will be initiated against them.
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 Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, giving it powers to regulate policies and rules for the digital space.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)
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