On a day the Information and Broadcasting Ministry called Amazon Prime to respond to complaints against web series Tandav, makers of the show issued a public apology if it “unintentionally hurt anybody’s sentiments”.
Meanwhile, Lucknow Police has filed an FIR against Tandav’s makers for allegedly portraying Hindu Gods in a bad light following a complaint by Senior Sub-Inspector Amar Nath Yadav. Head of India original content of Amazon Prime, Aparna Purohit, has also been named in the FIR at Hazratganj police station.
Director Ali Abbas Zafar, producer Himanshu Krishna Mehra and others have been booked under IPC sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 505 (1) (B) (public mischief with intent to cause fear or alarm) and 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation) and the Information Technology Act.
Sources said a virtual meeting was held Monday morning between ministry officials and representatives of Amazon Prime, and the show, including Zafar.
Zafar and Mehra tweeted a statement Monday evening.
“We have been closely monitoring viewer reactions to the web series ‘Tandav’ and today during a discussion, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting have informed us regarding a large number of grievances and petitions received on various facets of the web series…,” it said.
“The web series Tandav is a work of fiction and any resemblance to acts and persons and events is purely co-incidental. The cast and crew did not have any intention to offend the sentiments of any individual, caste, community, race, religion or religious beliefs of 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,” it added.
In November, the government brought content on digital platforms, including Over-the-top (OTT) media platforms under I&B Ministry’s purview.
The issue around Tandav has again brought the issue of regulation of OTT content into focus. The government has been asking OTT players to come up with a self-regulatory code and create a body, but not all OTT platforms are willing to join it.
The Indian Express reached out to Amazon Prime. A spokesperson refused to comment, and an email sent to them late in the evening did not elicit a response.
Lucknow DCP (Central) Somen Barma said a police team has left for Mumbai to investigate the matter. — With ENS Lucknow
Mirzapur creators booked for ‘defaming’ district
Lucknow: An FIR has been registered against producers of web series Mirzapur at the Kotwali Dehat police station of Mirzapur for allegedly, promoting social enmity, showcasing abusive content, presenting the district in bad light and presenting illicit relations on screen. The FIR has been registered on the complaint of one Arvind Chaturvedi who alleged that the show “has hurt his religious sentiments” —ENS