A Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA, Nandkishore Gurjar, has filed a complaint against producer Anushka Sharma, for using his picture without his permission in her recent Amazon Prime web series, Paatal Lok. The picture, which has been morphed to include the show’s fictional characters, also includes Gurjar.
In addition to the unauthorised use of his likeness, Gurjar has found problems with the show’s content. He has called it ‘anti-national’. In his complaint, the MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Loni has said that Paatal Lok shows castes in Sanatan Dharma in a negative light.
As Paatal Lok is receiving temperamental reviews from all quarters — with the most common view being that the plot isn’t bad but the political commentary in it is forced — many are filing cases against the actress. Recently, Anushka received a legal notice for hurting sentiments of the Gorkha community in a scene.
Gurjar, the MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Loni, alleged that Paatal Lok presents Hindu groups in a negative manner and that his photo was used in a scene along with a negative character in the show.
The original picture has lookalikes of BJP politicians like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Gurjar has claimed that the series tries to damage the image of his party. He has demanded a ban on Amazon Prime Video series Paatal Lok.
Gurjar said that the web series shows members of his caste as dacoits and people associated with other malpractices. He complained that the web series had tried to create differences among different castes in India, like the Jats of Punjab, Brahmins and Tyagis.
The BJP MLA claimed that the use of casteist slurs in the show indicated that certain castes were of lower stature in society, which will cause further unrest among people.
In the plot of the web series, the fictional villain Bajpayee is seen inaugurating a highway, with Gurjar standing in the background. The original picture was tweeted by Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath in 2018.
Anushka Sharma is yet to respond to any of the above-mentioned accusations. Meanwhile, the show stars Jaideep Ahlawat, Neeraj Kabi and Abhishek Banerjee among others.
Previously, several people had filed complaints against the makers of the show for perceived racist portrayal of people from the Northeast. Organisations such as the All Arunachal Pradesh Gorkha Youth Association, the Bharatiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh and lawyer Viren Sri Gurung are some of the petitioners.