Tandav controversy | I&B Ministry seeks explanation from Amazon Prime Video

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BJP MLAs write to Prakash Javadekar alleging the series shows Hindu deities in poor light.

Taking cognizance 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 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 cognizance of the matter (complaints) and asked Amazon Prime Video to explain,” a source in the ministry said.

 

Mr. 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 Mr. Javadekar on Twitter, Mr. 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.

“Sometimes, they also hurt religious sentiments,” he added.

It seems that makers of Tandav have deliberately mocked Hindu gods and disrespected Hindu religious sentiments, he said in the letter dated January 16.

 

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.

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.

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