Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Manoj Kotak — also a three-time Corporator of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and group leader of his party in the house — on 17 January wrote to Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, requesting him to ban web series Tandav, alleging that it hurts religious sentiments.
“It seems that makers of Tandav have deliberately mocked Hindu gods and disrespected Hindu religious sentiments,” he wrote.
The BJP MP sought regulation of OTT platforms, saying filmmakers are taking undue advantage since it is not regulated.
Kotak, an MP from Maharashtra, condemned the web series and said that “OTT content be regulated in the interest of the integrity of India”. “OTT Platforms having absolute freedom from censorship has led to repeated attacks on Hindu sentiments which I strongly condemn. spoke to hon.@PrakashJavdekar ji & requested that OTT content be regulated in the interest of integrity of India & we are fast-moving in that direction,” he had tweeted.
Earlier, Maharashtra BJP MLA Ram Kadam lodged a complaint against the makers of Tandav at Ghatkopar police station in Mumbai. “Strict against should be taken against the actor, director and producer of the web series,” he said.
Kadam had tweeted demanding the removal of the part mocking Shiva and an apology from actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub.” Tandav will be boycotted until necessary changes are made.#BanTandavNow,” he had tweeted. “Just as there is a system of censors (sic) for reviewing films and serials, a similar arrangement should be made to review series on the OTT platform. Writing to @PrakashJavdekar ji,” he tweeted in Hindi.
“It has been observed that now a day OTT (Over the Top) platform has become very popular especially among youth. This platform is free from all censoring authority and in the previe of interest of freedom — sometime (sic) they are taking undue advantage, There is no law or autonomous body governing OTT platform or digital contains. Now it’s urgent need to regulate the OTT platforms,” he wrote.
“Prgrammed telecasts on OTT Platform is full od Sex, Violence, Drugs, Abuse, Gae and Vulgarity. Sometimes they also hurt the sentiments of Hindus and other religious Sentiments,” the letter read.
Before Kadam, his party colleagues had raised objections about the Saif Ali Khan starrer, asking Union minister of information and broadcasting Prakash Javadekar to regulate the OTT platform.
BJP leader Kapil Mishra alleged that Tandav was “anti-Dalit and full of communal hatred against Hindus”. He requested people in the same tweet to write to Javadekar appealing for a ban on the web series.
Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, Tandav boasts an ensemble cast including Dimple Kapadia, Gauahar Khan, Anup Soni, Sunil Grover, Zeeshan Ayyub, Kirtika Kamra, Sarah Jane Dias, Dino Morea among others.
Saif Ali Khan essays the role of a suave politician, Samar Pratap Singh, who wants to become prime minister. But it’s after he kills his father that things take a drastic turn in his life.
OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, MX Player, Disney+Hotstar, etc have achieved notiriety since their launch in India for projecting India in general and Hinduism in particular in poor light. While some of the makers of these films and web series are Muslim, the rest are Hindus who have long held an ideological position against the nation and its majority community, furthering the education imparted through the school curricula of social studies in schools for decades.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Sunday summoned Amazon Prime officials in India for a clarification.