When we think about entertainment industry not only does it engage the audience with its remarkable and unique content but also comes up with all the backlashes when even the slightest thing goes wrong. Let's take a detour and talk about entertainment. What is the most upcoming controversy in the entertainment industry? The first word that comes to out mind is TANDAV. This entertainment series on Amazon Prime directed by Ali Abbas Zafar has been the hot topic since its release on January 15. The web series had one of the most promising star cast like Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Sunil Grover, Zeeshan Ayyub, Gauhar Khan and others. As soon as you hear these names, the expectations are already set high
But the web show didn't fulfill the expectations of certain section of the society and soon after its release, it faced a backlash and the reason behind this was for provoking communal disharmony over a scene from the first episode. When just the verbal or social media backlash was beared by the makers of the show, another major problem emerged as more than three FIRs were registered against them as well as the star cast for hurting religious sentiments.
When it comes to making a web series in a country like India, it becomes difficult to impress the audience as the probability of hurting human sentiments is very high. Especially when hindu religious sentiments are hury, a lot of activists, protesters and also politicians come out and raise their voices.
Here, not only did activists and fans protested against it, but celebrities like Kangana Ranaut and others have also shared their own set of views and comments against the makers for depicting a Hindu God in a bad way.
In this article I will discuss certain main points why this series created such a havoc.
First let us discuss about the clipping or the scene that was the cause behind all this chaos: The first episode of the series had a scene which featured actor like Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub who was performing a college play. In the play the actor was wearing a pantsuit, holding a 'damroo' and saying the most famous slang of all time "What the F***." This scene provoked the protestors who felt the brunt as the sequence insults the Hindu deity lord Shiva.
On the immediate next day twitter was on a roll and overloaded with comments where the protesters demanded to ban the series and used the hashtag #BanTandavNow' which eventually became the trend.
A political leader Manoj Kotak wrote to Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar asking to ban the series and said “Different organisations and individuals have complained that Hindu Gods and Goddesses have been ridiculed in Tandav web series. Comments have been passed about them,”
In November, the Union government brought streaming video services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar, and news websites under the ambit of the Information & Broadcasting ministry for regulation.,This was regarding the issuing of a notification that will now allow the OTT platforms to draft rules that could have a drastic impact on popular channels of digital content.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry seeked for a response to the complaints by issuing a notice to Amazon Prime.
Now lets talk about the complaints or FIRs filed against this series.
A criminal complaint has been filed before a Delhi court denanding action against the OTT platform Amazon Prime and the makers of the web series including writer, producer, director and some of the leading actors like Saif Ali Khan (actor), Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub (actor) and Gauhar Khan (actor) as accused.
This complaint was filed under Section 200 of the CrPC. This section seeks summoning, commencing trial and punishing the accused persons alleging that the show is provoking communal disharmony and is hurting the religious sentiments of the citizens. Soon after this backlash the maker of the series Ali Abbas Zafar issued an apology on behalf of everyone and justified that the show was not made with an intention to offend anyone as the show was a completely fictional and didn't mean to insult any religion and political party. In the statement, Ali shared that they have been closely monitoring the row.
The revised scene starts with the actor's entry on stage as Mahadev and get cheers from the audience later when the scene abruptly shifts where the police enters the campus to arrest a student.
Another controversy emerged when the second scene involved a conversation wherein the actor Tigmanshu Dhulia who plays the prime minister Devki Nandan Singh insults Dalit leader Kailash Kumar played by Anup Soni.
After a controversy on this scene the makers made changes in that portion of the series as well where the dialogue has been shortened that was referencing caste between Soni’s character and Sandhya Mridul’s Sandhya.
After all these complaints and controversies one thing is evident that making a web series in our country needs so many important things to be considered. With the religious diversity of the country even if the series are declared fictional are still viable to hurt human sentiments. And once it is hurt it becomes extremely difficult to bear all the consequences. With the advent of social media people have the liberty to do take a matter to another level. Let's hope the season two is well accepted.