Amazon Prime's new web series Tandav was released on January 15, 2021. Ever since the show was dropped, netizens have been tending #BanOn Tandav #BoycottTandaav for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus through a scene. Several BJP leaders had called for an absolute boycott of the show, and the dissent seemed to be growing each day. Seeing the gravity of the situation, the makers have decided to implement certain changes in the show.
On Tuesday, filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar said he would make changes in his political web-series Tandav owing to the concerns raised by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry regarding some portions of the show.
Ali Abbas Zafar issues statement
The statement shared by Ali Abbas Zafar reads, "Official statement from the Cast and Crew of Tandav "We have the utmost respect for the sentiments of the people of our country. We did not intend to hurt or 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 & crew of Tandav have decided to implement changes to the web series to address the concerns raised towards the same. We thank the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for the guidance & support in the matter. We once again apologize if the series has unintentionally hurt anybody's sentiments."
Despite issuing an apology a lot of social media users are unhappy
Many of us are guilty of having subscribed to this hate and propaganda i would request everyone to cancel their subscriptions hit the wallets— Aniket N (@AniketN14) January 19, 2021
#Thread - Why accepting Apology is not an option anymore? ( #Tandav and OTT Series)— Pandeyji_Speaks (@malhar_pandey) January 19, 2021
Under the name of creative freedom and freedom of expression, the creative heads in our nation have fooled us 'Hindus' for a pretty long time.
Swara Bhaskar comes in defence.
Ali Abbas Zafar issues an unconditional apology
On Monday evening, Ali Abbas Zafar had released a statement expressing 'sincere apologies' for hurting sentiments of the people. He also said that the show's cast and crew never intended to 'hurting the sentiments of any individual, caste, community, race, or religion'.
The statement read, "We have been closely monitoring viewer reactions to the web series Tandav and today during a discussion, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has informed us regarding a large number of grievances and petitions received on various facets of the web series with serious concerns and apprehensions regarding its content hurting the sentiments of the people.
We just want to share a quick update with everybody. We are in further engagement with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to resolve the concerns that have been raised. We value your continued patience and support, and should have a solution shortly. https://t.co/Yp8kogTlvs— ali abbas zafar (@aliabbaszafar) January 18, 2021
"The web series Tandav is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to acts and persons and events is purely coincidental. The cast and crew did not intend 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."
Re-sharing the statement, Ali Abbas Zafar wrote on Twitter on Monday (January 18) night. They were in talks with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and are working towards resolving the concerns.
What is the controversy surrounding Tandav?
The BJP MP demanded a ban on the series alleging it hurts Hindu sentiments. He also clamoured for an apology from the makers and the actors of the series.
Putting out a tweet from his verified Twitter handle, Kotak showed support for regulation of OTT content.
He wrote, "OTT Platforms having absolute freedom from censorship has led to repeated attacks on Hindu sentiments which I strongly condemn. spoke to hon.@PrakashJavdekar Ji & requested that OTT content be regulated in the interest of the integrity of India & we are fast-moving in that direction."
OTT Platforms having absolute freedom from censorship has led to repeated attacks on Hindu sentiments which I strongly condemn.spoke to hon.@PrakashJavdekar ji & requested that OTT content be regulated in the interest of integrity of India & we are fast moving in that direction.— Manoj Kotak (@manoj_kotak) January 16, 2021
The scene that created Tandav on social media over the web show
A section of Twitter has taken an offence over the show's one particular scene wherein actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub who plays a stage performer appears as Lord Shiva, Zeeshan is holding Trishul and says Azaadi, what the ....?"
Furthermore, the host talks about social media following and tweeting or posting pictures to increase his followers. This is followed by the much controversial 'Azaadi' chants by the audiences. The visual was from the first episode of the series.
The FIR was filed at Hazratganj Police Station, Lucknow, for allegedly creating a possibility of religious tension, portraying Hindu Gods in a bad light and using casteist scenes and dialogues in the series. In the FIR, the makers were also accused of portraying the Indian Prime Minister indecently. The Lucknow police left for Mumbai on January 18 to investigate the matter.
Soon after the case was registered, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's media adviser Shalabh Mani Tripathi shared a copy of it on Twitter. "There is no tolerance for playing with people's sentiments in Yogi Adityanath's Uttar Pradesh. A serious case has been registered against the entire team of Tandav, which is spreading hate in the guise of cheap web series. Prepare for arrest," he wrote in Hindi.
What does the FIR copy state?
Those named in the FIR have been booked for promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, causing destruction, damage, or defilement of a place of worship or an object held sacred; forgery to harm the reputation, statements conducing to public mischief, with intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India, or to strike terror in the people or any section of the people.
The FIR says that angry outbursts on social media against the web series Tnadav released on January 16 with people sharing its clippings. After watching the series, it was found that in the 17th minute of Episode 1, "characters playing Hindu gods and goddesses have been shown in an uncharitable way and using undignified language, which can trigger religious sentiments," the complainant said.
Cast of Tandav
Tandav released on Amazon Prime Video on Friday. The show opened to average reviews. Produced by Himanshu Kishan Mehra and Ali Abbas Zafar, the 9-episode political drama features Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Sunil Grover, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Dino Morea, Kumud Mishra, Gauahar Khan, Amyra Dastur, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub, Kritika Kamra, Sarah Jane Dias, Sandhya Mridul, Annup Sonii, Hiten Tejwani, Paresh Pahuja, and Shonali Nagrani among others.