An organisation of sadhus on 27 October demanded that the cases registered against Bajrang Dal activists for allegedly ransacking the set of Prakash Jha’s web series Ashram here be withdrawn, and accused the Hindi film industry of portraying Hindu saints and Indian culture in the wrong way. There was a “global conspiracy” to defame the Sanatan Dharma, it said. Alleged Bajrang Dal activists on Sunday ransacked the set of the web series Ashram here and also threw ink at Prakash Jha, its producer-director, accusing him of portraying the Hindu community wrongly.
The Aryawart Shatdarshan Sadhu Mandal Evam Acharya Parishad, an organisation of Hindu religious leaders, held a meeting on 27 October and issued a statement accusing Bollywood of wrongly portraying Indian culture and Hindu saints and hurting religious sentiments during the past “five decades”.
“The way an Ashram was depicted in the first two seasons of this web series is condemnable. This is a global conspiracy to defame Sanatan Dharma,” the statement from the organisation of sadhus said.
Why Bollywood was afraid of making such films about other religions, it asked. “Such films should be stopped or Hindus will retaliate and the administration and Bollywood will be responsible for this,” the statement read.
The cases registered against Bajrang Dal activists who allegedly ransacked the set should be withdrawn, the organization further demanded.
On 25 October, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra had said that producers and directors will have to inform the authorities about ‘objectionable content or scenes’ in the script before seeking permission for shooting in the state.
Prakash Jha’s Ashram is accused of defaming Hinduism by portraying a con man masquerading as a sadhu. Protesters have dared the filmmaker to depict the holy men of Christianity and Islam similarly. OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos, Disney+Hotstar, MX Player, Zee5 etc have been accused too ― of providing channel to further anti-Hindu propaganda.