A First Information Report (FIR) has been filed in Lucknow's Hazratganj Kotwali against the makers of Amazon Prime Video's web show Tandav for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, as per a report by ANI. Among those named in the FIR are Amazon Prime's India head of original content Aparna Purohit, director of Tandav Ali Abbas Zafar, the show's producer Himanshu Krishna Mehra and writer Gaurav Solanki.
The charges include promoting enmity between different religious groups, race, place of birth, making destruction, damage, or defilement of a place of worship or an object held sacred. They further entail forgery for purpose of harming reputation, statements that could bring public mischief, intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India, and strike terror section of the people, reported Economic Times.
Efforts Made To Ignite Caste Clashes: FIR
"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," said the FIR lodged by Senior Sub Inspector, Amar Nath Yadav.
"Similarly, in the 22nd minute of the same episode, efforts have been made to ignite caste clashes. The person holding a dignified post like that of prime minister has been shown in a very derogatory manner throughout the web series," the FIR further stated according to Firstpost.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, central zone, Somen Barma, told Firstpost that a police team from Hazratganj would be sent to Mumbai on 18 January to investigate and interrogate those named in the FIR.
Separate Criminal Complaint Filed in Court
A separate criminal complaint against Tandav was also filed in a court on Monday, 18 January. The petition alleges that the series incites communal disharmony and hurts sentiments of Hindus.
ANI also reported that Amazon Prime Video officials from India have been summoned by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry in connection with the controversy.
BJP Leaders Call for Ban on 'Tandav' for 'Hurting Sentiments'
The FIR and court petiton comes after a few BJP leaders called for a ban on Tandav for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. They appear to have taken offence at a scene in which Zeeshan Ayyub's character performs a play as Shiva.
In a series of tweets, a BJP leader from Mumbai, Ram Kadam, complained that Saif Ali Khan had participated in a show that hurts the sentiments of Hindus. He also demanded that the scene "mocking Shiva" should be removed and that Zeeshan Ayyub, who features in the scene, apologise. He called for a boycott of the show until his demands were met. He also threatened to file an FIR against the creators of the show.
MP Manoj Kotak supported Kadam and tweeted, "OTT platforms having absolute freedom from censorship has led to repeated attacks on Hindu sentiments which I strongly condemn." He posted a photo of a letter he had written to Prakash Javdekar requesting that "OTT content be regulated in the interest of integrity of India." In the letter he said that the "makers of Tandav has deliberately mocking Hindu gods and disrespect Hindu religious sentiments (sic)."
Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Video officials have told PTI that the OTT platform 'won't be responding' to media queries regarding the incident.
(With inputs from Economic Times)