The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) on Sunday sought an explanation from online streaming platform Amazon Prime Video. It issued a notice to the same in response to the complaints filed against the Tandav web series for hurting religious sentiments and denigrating Hindu gods and goddesses.
The move comes after BJP MP Manoj Kotak said he has written to Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Suday for seeking a ban on Amazon Prime Video's webseries 'Tandav' over ridiculing Hindu deities.
'Tandav' is a political drama starring Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Sunil Grover, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Dino Morea, Kumud Mishra, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, Gauhar Khan and Kritika Kamra. It premiered on the streaming platform on Friday.
Filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar has created, directed and produced the series with Himanshu Kishan Mehra and it is written by Gaurav Solanki, best known for 'Article 15'.
The director and producer of Tandav denied to comment on the controversy
"The ministry has taken cognizance 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.
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.
With PTI Inputs