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‘Hurtful to Hindus, anti-Dalit’ — BJP leaders want Amazon show Tandav banned, makers arrested

Released Friday, Tandav is a political drama centred on a ruthless and ambitious leader played by Saif Ali Khan.

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New Delhi: A series of BJP leaders, including Kapil Mishra and MP Manoj Kotak, have raised objections about the new Amazon Prime series Tandav, accusing the Saif Ali Khan starrer of hurting Hindu sentiments and also describing it as anti-Dalit. 

Released Friday, Tandav is a political drama centred on a ruthless and ambitious leader, played by Khan, that also seems to evoke certain contemporary protest movements, including those involving students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and farmers.

Other stars of the show include Dimple Kapadia, Tigmanshu Dhulia and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub.

The name of the series is a reference to the dance form tandav, which is associated with Hindu deities, including Shiv. The sequences criticised by BJP leaders include a scene in the first episode where Ayyub, playing Lord Shiv in a college play, and an actor portraying mythological sage-messenger Narad Muni, talk about ways to build a social media following for the deity that rivals that of Lord Ram. The scene seeks to show the deity speaking a cuss word that has, however, been beeped out. 

Another scene deemed controversial is where the PM, played by Dhulia, heaps casteist insults on Anup Soni, who plays a Dalit politician. 

Among other things, the leaders have asked the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) to regulate streaming platforms like Amazon Prime that are currently not mandated to get content cleared by any agency, unlike movies, which have to be passed by the Censor board.

The government had last year brought streaming platforms under the purview of the I&B ministry.

Also Read: Modi govt’s plan to regulate digital media can hobble a growing industry if not done well

‘Full of communal hatred against Hindus’

Kotak, a BJP MP from Mumbai, told ThePrint that he has approached I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar with a request to regulate OTT platforms. He said Tandav has hurt Hindu sentiments and “this is not the first time such incidents are happening”.

“Every time there is sinister design to portray Hindu deities in poor light, but we can’t do anything in the absence of a regulator,” Kotak said. “I have requested Prakash ji to immediately ban this series and install a regulator for future programmes. They are global platforms and it has become a fashion to denigrate Hindu gods. Can they show the gods of another religion in such a way?” he added.

Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra said Saturday the show was anti-Dalit and “full of communal hatred against Hindus”. 

In a tweet, Mishra used the hashtag “BanTandavNow” now, and asked his followers to write to Javadekar about their concerns. He also included the minister’s email ID in his tweet.

He also made a jibe about the fact that two of the main actors are Muslims.

Meanwhile, BJP Chandigarh spokesperson Gaurav Goel wrote to the Director General of Police Sunday and sought the arrest of the series’ makers.

Goel posted a screenshot of a tweet purportedly retweeted by Ayyub that calls for the release of former JNU student activist Umar Khalid, who has been in jail since last year for his alleged role in the 2020 Delhi riots. 

In his complaint, he has said the show has “highly objectionable, offensive content”, adding that actors can be seen “insulting Hindu deities openly”. 

“They have openly insulted and humiliated Lord Shiva. I request you to register a complaint for causing breach of peace in society,” he added. 

Actor Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub took active part during the anti-CAA protest and supported the farmers’ protest.

Also Read: How streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon have changed the art of screenwriting


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  1. Web series of Tandav attracts objections of hurting religious sentiments of Hindus in January 2021.
    According to news reports , Saif Ali Khan and Dimple Kapadia starrer Tandav was released on Amazon Prime Video on Friday , 15 January 2021. The content has reportedly attracted objections of hurting religious sentiments of Hindus. Briefly speaking , the content has been read to be controversial one leading to FIRs against the concerned amid widespread protests expressing that their religious sentiments have been hurt. Meanwhile , the concerned have tendered an apology by adding that their intent was not to hurt the religious sentiments.
    In this context , it may be apt to refer readers to this Vedic astrology writer’s one of predictive alerts for more care and appropriate strategy through article :-
    “ Major worrisome potential of concerns during 10 January to 13 February in soon coming year 2021 for world including India as well , calling for more care and appropriate strategy”.
    The said article was published at last year 2020 on 26 November carrying predictive alert on road-mishap in Rajasthan as follows.
    “ ( C ). India is offered the following tips for closer attention , more care and appropriate strategy during ABOUT 10 January to 13 February 2021 :-
    ( 1 ). India …………………While the need to be alert for more care and appropriate strategy continues to exist during the entire period from ABOUT 10 January to 13 February in 2021 , the period from 14 to 17 January …………… needs particular attention.
    ( 2 ). It seems the executive organ of the sovereign power in the country may have to battle during the period on multiple fronts spawning over to political issues , health hazards and pandemic , issues of spiritual world related to gods and goddesses , weather vagaries with extreme tones , economic and financial dip , issues with States having financial and legal angles and fierce designs and moves of hostile countries. Judiciary may also have worrisome concerns during the period”.
    These details suggest that the predictive alert appears to have been sadly meaningful besides accurate.
    Link to reach the article referred to here :-

  2. I did watch the first 15 minutes of the first episode. After that just couldnt watch the hateful and communal garbage. So much hatred for Hindus and their culture, its really shocking. Even if one hates a religion, mocking the same in a mainstream tv show is really going too far! I would like to challenge these muslim & left liberal film makers, actors to make similar fund of prophet of islam in a maainstream tv show. If they do that, at least I will never again criticize any left liberal fanatic director again for this issue. Its an open challenge. Just once, do it to prove how secular and liberal all of you really are.

  3. What do you think!! Why not these guy make fun of Mohammed and Jesus!! In fact why don’t you start! Don’t have the guts

    • snowflake baba keep your barb within you.. if they can make fun of hindu sentiments equally they should make for I slam islam religion. idiots like you who always ready to bend your nether region for so called crap

  4. Yes, could be. However, the most objectionable part, as it seems to me is PM’s son poisoning the PM on the eve of election results to bag his seat of power and no one suspects any foul play. And this three terms PM was about win a land-slide in a matter of a few days. Highly contrived and badly designed script. Doesn’t reflect the political reality at all,. Can sons of a PM bag his father’s or mother’s chair with this ease? This happened way back in 1984. Let us have a look at what happened to PM’s sons thereafter. Ajit Singh, son of former PM Charan Singh is a minor player in UP politics. Raul Gandhi, son of Rajiv Gandhi is nowhere near his dream of occupying PM’s chair. Poor Manmohan Singh, he has only a daughter – an apolitical person. Same about Vajpayee. His foster son-in-law is nowhere to be seen on any political horizon. Son of Narsingh Rao is forgotten, so also for Chandra Shekhar- no political inheritors. Deve Gouda’s son became CM of Karnataka, only for a brief period.- nowhere near to becoming PM of India. Now, does the script reflect political reality?

  5. What do Muslims do when it’s religion is criticised So better it should be mutual respect and any way we have laws against hurting sentiments of any religion especially of Hindus it has become fashion Police should take strict action against these elements and Govt should ensure regulator for OTT they are not out of preview

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