Report on Shemaroo

Amazon Prime Video’s Tandav makers get I&B ministry summons?

This follows complaints by a section of netizens that the show is anti-Hindu.

MUMBAI: It began with a bunch of trollers on social media fretting that the latest and much touted digital original from Amazon Prime Video Tandav had treated Hindu deity Shiva poorly in a scene a couple of days ago. Others howled that it was anti-Hindu, anti-Dalit,  encourages division between Hindus and Muslims, while strong right wingers said it appeared to be beating an anti-BJP drum.

Critics gave it mixed reviews, some calling it contrived, some labelling it schlocky even as others said it was a reflection of the times, praising the performances of the starry crew consisting of Saif Ali Khan, Sunil Grover, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Sarah Jane Dias, Anup Soni, and Kritika Kamra. A slow #BanTandav hashtag started buzzing on Twitter. Whatever, Tandav was in the news.

As it continues to be with the ministry of information and broadcasting, according to some reports, summoning its makers to its offices, following a police complaint filed by BJP parliamentarian Ram Kadam, and a letter from another BJP politico Manoj Kotak to the minister Prakash Javadekar, demanding an apology from the platform for hurting Hindu sentiments. Kadam also called on Javadekar to set up a censor board to review content streamed by OTTs like Prime and Netflix. Of course, the latter has paid heed to the Twitter noise and taken action.

“Freedom of expression is what India stands for as a democracy,” says a media critic. “But if sentiments of a section are hurt, the makers of the show will have to pay heed. Yes, they most likely will cut the “offensive” scenes, and even apologise. But it’s an unwelcome development that creativity is being put through the wringer the way it is currently. By putting the spotlight on the trolling, they will make it more appealing to an anti-establishment audience, even as the fence sitters may well get attracted to it.”

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