‘Tandav’ crew and forged concern apology


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Amazon India head of content, ‘Tandav’ web series producer, director and writer have been charged with hurting religious sentiments of Hindus

The cast and crew of Tandav, Amazon Prime Video’s web series have issued an apology. In a statement shared on Twitter by Ali Abbas Zafar, director of the series, they “unconditionally apologized” taking cognisance of the concerns expressed by people “if it has unintentionally hurt anyone’s sentiments”.

Tandav is a “work of fiction and any resemblance to acts and persons and events is purely coincidental”, they said.

“The cast and crew did not have any intention 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,” they said in a statement.

An FIR has been lodged in Lucknow against the makers of Amazon Prime Video’s new web series on charges of hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus and promoting enmity on grounds of religion.

The political drama series has Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Tigmanshu Dhulia and Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub in the cast.

The FIR was lodged at the Hazratganj police station under various sections of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) and the Information Technology Act.

Aparna Purohit, head, India original content of Amazon; Ali Abbas Zafar, director, Tandav web series; Himanshu Krishna Mehra, producer; and Gaurav Solanki, writer, were named in the FIR.

In the FIR, registered on a complaint of a Sub-Inspector of the Hazratganj police, the complainant says he was asked to watch the show on Amazon Prime Video by senior officers after he alerted them about angry posts on the series, which started streaming on January 15, on social media.

‘Low-level’ language

The SI alleges that in the 17th minute of the first episode, characters dressed in an improper way and representing Hindu gods and goddesses were shown speaking in undignified and “low-level” language. This could incite and hurt religious sentiments, he says.

The FIR accuses the series of undignified portrayal of a person occupying the post of Prime Minister of the country, showing castes as “high and low”, and having scenes that insult women.

“The intent of the web series is to incite religious sentiments among a particular community and spread class conflict,” it alleges.

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati took to Twitter, saying the “objectionable” parts should be removed from the series so that the atmosphere of peace, harmony and common brotherhood was not spoilt.

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav said the Bharatiya Janata Party and its government were “doing tandav” over the web series because they didn’t want to keep the farmers’ issue alive. “Farmers are protesting out there. They are being dubbed as terrorists and the NIA (National Investigation Agency) is enquiring about them. What is this?” he asked in Srawasti.

Official’s threat

Shalabh Mani Tripathi, information advisor to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, issued a threat to the makers of the web series. Tagging the accused persons and naming Saif Ali Khan in a tweet, he said a team of U.P. Police had left for Mumbai in a car. “The FIR has strong sections in it. Be prepared…you will have to pay for hurting religious sentiments,” he said, adding that he hoped Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray would not protect the accused persons.

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